Focus On: Shifting perspectives in graphic design history



Shifting perspectives in graphic design history

Since many public and private archives already exist, BINGO has the ambition to explore them through a new approach. Compared to other neighbouring countries such as the Netherlands or France, Belgium has few traditions of documenting graphic design in Belgium even the presence of quality work in the field is not less. This allows an important freedom today for the Institute to explore this history in a particular way, but on the other hand this brings some difficulties to find information to rely on. The Focus On series rassembles a research through different private as public archives. The goal of the series is to focus on a feeling of the lack of attention to graphic designers who have been out of the radar of the professional history and furthermore with a focus on female graphic designers.

With this series of posters, the Institute undertakes a contemporary perspective on figures which have shaped the graphical environment of Belgium, and more precisely our streets. Figures that resists any time trends and feels still as fresh from today. Shopping centres, through the identity of Westland and Woluwe shopping, have received colourful and smooth forms through the creations of Sami and Sophie Alouf. The iconic logo of Jazz Middelheim from Frie Soomers convinces the audience to hear the music throughout its visualization, an identity that had been resonating for 15 years. Passing by the cinema, the documentary film’s poster ‘The War of Mummies’ made by Anne Delcoigne brings attention to the Chilean class war in 1974. While going to the S.M.A.K museum when it was under the directory of Jan Hoet, Marleen Deceukelier was responsible for the graphic design of all activities organised by the museum, like for example the book of the famous exhibition Chambres d’amis of 1986, but also had an international reputation. She designed the wonderful poster for Documenta IX which was set in Kassel from June to September 1992. From sculptress to photographer, Jeanine Behaegel has also been in her earlier role as the graphic designer for De Korrekelder theater in her home city Bruges.

Frie Soomers, Jazz Middelheim, 1976.

Frie Soomers

The visual identity of Jazz Middelheim in the period from 1974 to 1989 has remained continuously the same. It was so strongly designed by Frie Soomers that the only element in the composition of the poster changed were the sponsors and their sizes. The green background that resembles the Middelheim park together with the sans serif characters, was the logo the pearl of the stage. Soomers followed up the graphic designer Frans de Jonck, whom she utilised as a basis for her new contribution.

Anne Delcoigne, Der krieg der mumien, 1975 ©AMSAB

Marleen Deceuckelier

During her career at the S.M.A.K. museum in Ghent, Marleen Deceukelier was responsible for the graphic design of all activities organised by the museum, such as the catalogue for the renowned exhibition Chambres d’Amis in 1986.

She designed the remarkable poster for the Documenta IX. This ninth edition of the five-yearly exhibition took place from June to September 1992 in Kassel and was curated by Jan Hoet.

Anne Delcoigne

We have very few information on Anne Delcoigne. It is by researching the posters conserved at AVG-Carhif, the Belgian Archives and Research Center for Women’s History, that we gained more insight into her practice as a graphic designer. Abortion, the woman decides! Is a poster in a series for Women’s Day in 1976 which Delcoigne designed and which attracted our attention in the archives. 

Later on, we also found posters designed by her at the Institute for Social History in Gent (AMSAB), such as this beautiful poster for the movie ‘The War of Mummies’ from 1974. 

S & S Alouf, Le Cirque Echanté de Saint Nicolas/Het Tovecircus van Sinterklaas, Woluwe Shopping Center, 1974.

Sophie Alouf

The Sinterklaas poster was designed in 1974 by Sophie Alouf and her husband Sami Alouf for the Woluwe Shopping Center. The poster was screen printed to 50 copies. Sophie Alouf studied Visual Arts at la Cambre in Brussels. She worked as a freelance graphic designer for various companies and organizations, both nationally and internationally. 

In Belgium she worked for the Museum of Fine Arts, the Design Center and the Woluwe and Westland shopping centers. Her graphic work is a collaboration with her husband, graphic designer Sami Alouf. In addition to her career as a designer, Sophie Alouf was responsible for the Graphic Design Atelier in Saint Luc Brussels and taught at La Cambre department Typography.

Jeanine Behaeghel

Today Jeanine Behaeghel is best known as a painter and sculptor, but has been present in many ways as a photographer and graphic designer. 

She studied at the Academy of Fine Arts of Bruges, then in Düsseldorf and London, after which she returned to Bruges. She designed the identity for De Korrekelder, the famous theater on the Kraanplein in Bruges in 1961. Jeanine Behaeghel made many posters, theater programs and advertisements for De Korrekelder. After this period as graphic designer she had her first exhibition as a painter and focused more on her career as an autonomous artist.