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Collection of the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum

Marian Bantjes

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Marian Bantjes (b. 1963) began working in the field of visual communication in 1983 and from 1984 to 1994 worked as typesetter. From 1994 to 2003 she and a partner established the firm Digitopolis that produced materials for corporations, education and arts organizations. In 2003 she left this firm to create a more personal style combining type and ornament that has allowed her to cross boundaries between fine arts and design, illustration and typography. Bantjes' highly original approach has brought her international recognition. Her clients include Saks Fifth Avenue, Penguin Books, Houghton Mifflin, and other designers including Michael Bierut at Pentagram and Stefan Sagmeister, as well as many design magazines such as Print and Wallpaper. She teaches typography at Emily Carr Institute in Vancouver, Canada. At a 2010 Ted Talk, Marian Bantjes spoke eloquently about what drives her approach to visual communication. She said she enjoys figuring out things, using unusual materials, and experimenting with the interdependency of word and image. But most of all, she searches for the unexpected, incorporating wonder and surprise. Her characteristic objects use Vector graphics and obsessive hand work and patterning.