The Debate: The legendary contest of two giants of graphic design.         —           Visual Communication Design          —          Winter 2017          —          Design 166

The Debate: Cover Redesign


A cover redesign using main themes from the text to illustrate the conceptual opposition of the philosophies of two infamous graphic designers.

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The Challenge


To redesign the book cover for The Debate: A Legendary Contest of Two Giants of Graphic Design by Wim Crouwel and Jan Van Toorn.

Cover for small books.

Large cover.

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Selection of ideations.

My Approach

Concept Development

I wanted to represent the philosophies of each designer visually. Wim Crouwel took a more technical approach toward his designs, advising to stick with design principles like the grid. Jan Van Toorn argued that design should be an opportunity to express creativity and send a message, not to be limited by the rules and theories behind it. I tried to design each side of the book cover with the contrasting perspectives of each designer in mind.

Visual Flow

I used vibrant textures and colors to emphasize the expressive and dynamic quality of Van Toorn's style. In opposition to this, Wim Crouwel's territory of the cover is very measured, precise, and minimal. With two sides so distinctly different, the observer's eye can converse around the canvas with curiosity.


The title of the book is the prime element on the page. After the observer recognizes the title, the artwork piques interest. I want the author's names and subtitle to be the last thing the eyes are drawn toward so the observer can digest the details of the graphics before receiving the full context.


I chose to use liberal colors for Van Toorn's side to demonstrate his expressive and unrestrictive nature. After researching Wim Crouwel's work, I decided that a monochromatic approach would best represent his style.

Final Design

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