Graphic Matters Recap 2020

2020 was a year that we will not soon forget (we no longer need to tell you why) but was also a year in which Graphic Matters was able to make and show many cool things.


The year started for us during Cultuurnacht 2020 (Saturday, January 25) where we showed the unique art installation Track Tracy on Stationsplein and Willemstraat. From atop  the roof of Breda Central Station, computer “Tracy” caught unsuspecting passers-bys in her light by means of artificial intelligence. The inventors of Track Tracy, the Antwerp duo Daems van Remoortere, are examining the contrast between privacy and security on the one hand and ‘wanting to be seen’ (on social media) on the other.

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Stay Sane Stay Safe

”Stay safe, take care of each other, keep your distance, wash your hands and call your grandparents”, common comments in 2020. Graphic Matters made it impossible to ignore these comments on the streets. Breda was filled with hundreds of colorful posters in response to the corona crisis and to encourage everyone to stay safe. Even NOS Journaal paid attention to this project. A traveling pop-up exhibition followed in the spring along squares and parks.

The posters were part of the Stay Sane, Stay Safe project initiated by design studio Lennarts & De Bruijn and text agency Over de Schreef from The Hague. Via the website they called on designers worldwide to make posters. More than 2000 designers from 86 countries have now designed a poster for the project.

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Photo by: Rosa Meininger

Keep An Eye Masterclasses

Thanks to Keep An Eye Foundation, we offered two online masterclasses this year. Building on our ‘Information Superpower’ exhibition, we invited journalist, data designer and writer David McCandless to the Masterclass ‘Information is Beautiful’. 20 Young designers learned more about how to create effective, interesting and above all useful data visualisations and infographics.

The online Keep An Eye masterclass ‘Tiling Up’ by Damien Poulain took place on 14 November. Inspired by his own artistic process during the lockdown, Damien allowed 12 young designers to discover new perspectives in their immediate environment. Look up, look down, look everywhere during this workshop … Each participant created two patterns, inspired attributes from their own home.

Photo by: Mirelle van Tunderen

In 2020 we showed four different poster exhibitions in our The is the world’s only drive-by gallery. You see a new series of posters every three months along the entrance to the Chassé Parking in Breda. We started the year with Knetterijs, a collective of young illustrators from Groningen. Knetterijs was followed by the poster series ‘Wereldberoemd in Breda‘ by Emile Waagenaar in collaboration with the City Archives of Breda. From 11 July till the 6th of September we showed a selection of posters from the project Stay Sane, Stay Safe. The year ended with ‘Men at Windows’49 Posters depicting the loneliness of the lockdown by French artist Damien Poulain.

We regularly present pop-up exhibitions from the collection. For example, the work of Knetterijs was visible at Pier15 all summer and the ‘Community Service Announcements’ of Jeremyville can be seen in the shopping area’ t Sas until the end of January. The exhibition ‘World famous in Breda’ was repeated at Brack during Open Monuments Day. We also organized our annual Poster Sale at Brack. More than 200 fans took home a poster from our collection.

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Knetterijs | PHOTEDby Edwin Wiekens

Sign & Print 

On 11 & 12 March we presented three exhibitions during the Sign & Print festival in Gorinchem: History of Icons, Flags of Peace and Poster project ‘Information Superpower’. Unfortunately, the festival ended prematurely due to the first Corona measures. Sign & Print shows the latest applications in the field of graphic media and visual communication every two years. Graphic Matters founder Dennis Elbers gave a presentation about the added value of Augmented Reality on visual communication.

History Of Icons | PHOTEDby Edwin Wiekens


A Spanish artist going by the name of Vermibus has an orange vest, set of keys and a mission. His work continuously spreads despondency. Is he a poster lover or hater, an activist or painter, the hunter or prey?

Artists like Vermibus show the impact of the consumer society on people and the environment. More often designers are refusing to keep portraying the world more beautiful than it actually is. This greatly influences how brands will communicate in the future. What can we learn from activists about valuable, honest and sincere communication? Graphic Matters will be researching this over the next two years.

In the run-up to this research, we distributed three posters at hundreds of locations in the Netherlands in collaboration with Flyerman.

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Photo by Joost van Asch


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