Ben Bos studied Journalism during his National Service in the RDAF (1st Lt.); Layout at Amsterdam Graphic College; and Graphic design IVKNO at Rietveld Academy Amsterdam from which he graduated with distinction. Bos worked at Ahrend (1954-1962) as copywriter, industrial editor, and art-director. In 1963 he joined Total Design before founding Total Design, Brussels in 1990, and left Total Design in 1991. Then, spent two years as design director at 2d3d design group (The Hague), which led to a fresh start as an independent designer under the name FORMatie2—a socially committed firm specializing in logo, editorial, corporate identity design, and design writing. Bos is the author of numerous articles in the (inter)national design press and of several books on graphic design, its history, design management, and corporate identity.
Relationships to note for their social relevance are his work with Ahrend (1954-2005), HVO (Aid for the Homeless) (1956-1991), Furness Group (1968-1996), and Randstad Group (1967-1997). His participation with educational institutions across Europe, Israel, Japan, and the United States include decades-long lessons, visiting lectures, and guest juror—he is also co-founder of the course in Design Management at Ichthus College Rotterdam (1998).
Highlights to note within the design industry are his membership and various management tasks with BNO (formerly GKf, GVN, bNO); Alliance Graphique Internationale (AGI) member since 1978, president of the Dutch chapter from 1986 to 2006, and organizer of the 1986 AGI Congress; founder of NAGO, the Dutch graphic designers’ archive in 1991, and its president from 1991 to 1996; Honorary Member of Brno Biennale of Graphic design, Arc en Reve Bordeaux (architecture), BNO, and most recently named Honorary Fellow International Society of Typographic Designers ISTD, 2015. Bos is the recipient of many design awards such as the medals Brno Biennale (1970 and 1996), Frans Duwaer Award (1970), World Logotype Award (1998), AGI’s ’Oscar’, and the Henri Award (2007).
Most notable book titles:
2000 — Monograph: Ben Bos – Design of a Lifetime available in Dutch and English
2001 — Huisstijl, hart van de zaak
2002 — Grafisch Nederland (‘Wie denkt u dat ik ben’) in co-operation with Elly Bos-Bonsen
2002 — AGI, Graphic Design since 1950 in co-operation with Elly Bos-Bonsen and published in English, Italian, Japanese, and (partly) in Korean.
2011 — TD63-73 and its expanded edition in 2015
Graphic design, its development towards a profession, and its new chapter, when Total Design was founded in 1963, as the first multi-disciplinary on the European continent. Or, in other words: Graphic design, from its underdeveloped childhood to maturity in a multi-disciplinary context.