Jan Middendorp has died.

James PuckettJames Puckett Posts: 1,966
edited December 2023 in Technique and Theory
Friends of Jan Middendorp have shared news of his passing. He will be missed by many.


  • John HudsonJohn Hudson Posts: 2,940
    edited December 2023
    Saddened to hear that. He was always good company, and his Dutch Type book and other writings remain worth reading long after they were first published. His illness took a toll on his mobility, so I cherish all the more the memory of watching him salsa dance once at a conference.
  • Nick ShinnNick Shinn Posts: 2,128
    My favourite memory: Jan performing “Rocky Racoon” (from the Beatles’ White Album), accompanying himself on guitar. 
  • I saw that. Very sad to see him go. There was a nice tribute to him at ATypI this year where he was awarded the TDC Medal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zoyCV5hzAWc
  • Nick ShinnNick Shinn Posts: 2,128
    Here is some of Jan’s freelance work.
    He certainly raised the tone of font marketing.

  • Chris LozosChris Lozos Posts: 1,458

  • When I was 15, I noticed his book De vorm van tekst in a local library, and borrowed it – the first book I ever borrowed. It was a fantastic book. Had I not read it, I don’t think I would have been the typography enthusiast that I am today. So I’m grateful for his work, and sad to hear that he has passed away.
  • A sad day for the industry.

    I was lucky to meet him on multiple occasions when I lived in Berlin. He once invited me round for dinner and I had a fabulous time. As Patrick pointed out, I was taken aback by his knowledge on music, which basically spanned any genre you could think of. I distinctly remember chatting to him about the ambient pioneers Brian Eno, Harold Budd, Richter etc. I remember his flat was filled with records and type ephemera.

    His generosity didn't just end with dinners and social stuff. He often sent me recommendations and work my way. I am truly grateful for that and I'm sure he's done the same for many others,

    Rip Jan.

  • Jan had the title “Type Writer” on his business card. I always wanted to emulate that career, and will probably spend the rest of mine trying to live up to his.
  • I never met Jan, but I did have the pleasure of interviewing the interviewer in 2014, for 8Faces magazine. He also kindly reviewed my first typeface, Brim Narrow, in 2015.
    He was very generous with his time and enthusiasm on both occasions. 
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