Benno Wessing | de Doelen logo
Artist: Benno Wissing (1923-2008)
Art work: de Doelen logo
Collection: de Doelen
Acquisition: de Doelen
A special mention goes to the Doelen logo designed by Benno Wissing. Alongside Louis van Roode and Wally Elenbaas, he formed the core of the first post-war Rotterdam artists' collective: Groep R. The group had a left-wing signature, cherished community ideals, aimed for the integration of architecture and art, and operated from Ons Huis on the Gouvernestraat (what would later become Lantaren/Venster). Wissing was a painter, draughtsman, graphic artist, architect, and designer. His views on art and society gradually changed: visual art, in his eyes, was too isolated. Therefore, his choice landed on design. He believed he could contribute more to society by becoming a designer. His clients included Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, the Rotterdam Ballet Ensemble, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Erasmus University, and de Doelen.
In 1963, he was involved in founding Total Design, an agency characterized by an interdisciplinary approach. According to Wissing, each assignment deserved its own solution. Within Total Design, he gained a reputation as a theorist and philosopher. The agency's signage for Schiphol became particularly famous. In 1972, Wissing left the agency and moved to the United States. His house style for the Doelen (1966) is still prominently visible throughout the building today, enhanced further by beautiful new interpretations of his logo, as developed by the Rotterdam-based agency 75B. His 'logo' holds a special place in the collection of post-war reconstruction works.