Karel Martens


Born in the Netherlands in 1939, Karel Martens is a Dutch graphic designer who mainly focuses on typography. He stands out as a versatile designer who works on books, architectural interventions, and postage stamps. Furthermore, Martens also makes non-commissioned graphic designs as well as three-dimensional work. While studying at the University of Arnhem Academy of Art and Industrial Arts, he attended various classes such as publicity, sculpture making, painting, and illustration. The world recognizes him as a very influential graphic designer who prefers to be surprised by his work.

Karel Martens work is very influential because he has also designed telephone cards, coins, and postage stamps for his Dutch government. Through his work, he found a way to incorporate shapes, color, mathematics, and language to create beautiful and intriguing pieces of art. For example, the Dutch PTT cards he created, features a rainbow of faded overlapping numbers that depicts a coded translation of the Netherlands’ national anthem. Karel Martens’ style has impacted graphic design because he centers on simplicity rather than glamour, which presents an endless world of possibilities and opportunities to explore art. Going by his words, “I think it’s important that like good wine, a design has a lingering flavour,” upcoming graphic designers are encouraged to be creative and think outside the box to create artwork that will be remembered for generations to come.


Karel Martens is a celebrated graphic designer who not only strives to produce excellent and fascinating artwork but also allows his artwork to surprise him. His intricate yet straightforward artwork goes deeper than mere drawings or images because there is a story behind every piece. His sense of simplicity has changed the way people view mathematics, language, and basic shapes to form modern designs.

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