Wim Crouwel (father) / Mels Crouwel (son)
Wim Crouwel is the grand seigneur of Dutch graphic design and typography. As one of the founders of the design studio Total Design NV, now known as Total Identity, he helped create the identity for the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, designed the typefaces The New Alphabet — which was used on the Joy Division’s album cover for Substance — Fodor and Gridnik, and also designed the famous Number Postage Stamps for the Dutch Postal Service.
Though Mels grew up living in a glass boat designed by his father, filled with furniture designed by his father, and hanging out with his father’s friends, he knew that he wanted to be an architect and not follow in his father’s footsteps. “He did very well, which made it hard.” (Wim’s other son became a designer but didn’t use the family name.) In a nice little continuum, Mels is currently working on designing the new Stedelijk Museum, which his father made famous. He focuses on keeping the balance of the old museum while incorporating in the new, working to apply new things only if they’re better and not focusing just on the look. And yes, he discusses things with his father but only the results, never the process.