changing times

After some time at the Jan van Nassaustraat we realised we had been a bit too ambitious with this move. The rent was high and, with the arrival of our son in 1982, we were both more limited in the time we could devote to Easter Fairwether. So we looked around for alternatives and in May 1983 we approached a design group we knew, 2D3D, to ask if we could rent some space from them at their studio on the Mauritskade. The idea appealed and we started renting a room there that we equipped with a some of our new furniture. This turned out to be a very happy arrangement and we were to spend many enjoyable years at the Mauritskade. It was good for us to be around fellow designers, we all ate together at lunch-time and it also led to us collaborating on several projects, notably for Museum Boerhaave in Leiden. We also worked as Easter Fairwether together on some projects, notably for Museon and Natuurmonumenten, but the lion's share of looking after our growing infant fell on Linda's shoulders which meant that her career was put on hold for a while. Bill carried on combining his teaching work with commissions for infographic work and this pattern continued for several years.

Times were changing and in 1986 Bill bought his first Macintosh computer: a Mac Plus with 1Mb of RAM and a 1.4Mb floppy disc drive - cutting edge technology at the time! It was not used for serious design work at that point but over a period of some years led to the development of a new workflow for producing digital infographics. In 1992 2D3D were doing very well and had expanded to such a size that it became clear they needed the room we were renting. So with some regret Bill left the Mauritskade in June 1992 after creating a new workspace on the top floor of the house we had bought in the Archipel neighbourhood some years before. Working from home (again) took some getting used to but gradually a new routine developed and after some early hiccups Bill worked successfully from this location until 1999.

Around 1994 Linda's career also picked up again but now in a new and surprising direction. As a native speaker she had often been asked by friends or colleagues to translate Dutch to English and gradually this developed into a serious business that she was able to run from home. In particular she did a lot of work for design studios who required house style manuals to be translated for international clients. With her inside knowledge of design jargon this was a natural fit. She continued with various translation and editing commissions up until 2014, notably for the Paper Biennials held at Museum Rijswijk. In 2003 she started working parttime for an international organisation as translator/editor whilst continuing with her freelance work alongside. This arrangement held until she retired in 2011, although she still took on some freelance work until 2014. In 1999 Bill's career as infographer was noticably winding down. This in combination with a looming RSI problem prompted him to call it a day with Easter Fairwether and he started working at AKV | St Joost as teacher and co-ordinator more or less fulltime. This continued up until 2014 when he retired early after many busy yet enjoyable years in art and design education.

The room at the Mauritskade soon after moving in 1983.

Bookcase and Grant projector already in place 1983

Drafting table ready for use 1983.

With Bill's first Mac sometime in 1987.

The studio at home with PowerMac 7300 and two large monitors 1999.

The studio at homeas it is now 2016.

room for nature | 1985-6

With our son now less needy of daily care and attention at home, Linda was able to pick up her career as designer once more. It was at this time that Natuurmonumenten approached us again, this time for a book to celebrate the work of an important Foundation member: HP Gorter.

Gorter had written extensive memoires and a detailled history of the many changes and developments at Natuurmonumenten during his time there. Whilst the text was certainly thorough it was also somewhat dry so we proposed a spacious two-column layout to allow the story to be illustrated with regular pictorial highlights.

We also suggested that it would be fitting to commission some prints of famous Natuurmonumenten sites to liven up the book a bit. So we asked Itilla Jeuken to produce some special lino cuts that were not only included in the book but also sold as framed prints for members.

museon panels | 1983-6

Sometime in early 1982 we approached the Museon (Museum for Education) to give them a presentation of our work. They were then located in an old, rundown part of The Hague but would be moving to a new, modern building specially designed for them in the near future.

After viewing our work Museon asked us to produce some large educational panels for rooms devoted to a particular subject. We drew up visuals for each panel and refined them until they were approved by the museum experts. Most of these we then executed by ourselves, whilst for some we asked specialist illustrators to help out.

The work was quite slow and time-consuming as the museum suffered with intermittent funding problems which meant that the work stretched out over several years. However, the building was finally opened in 1986 complete with our panels. The photos of them here are taken from slides we made under difficult lighting conditions at the time.

atlas of german wines | 1986

A teaching colleague of Bill's, Pieter van Delft, asked if we could take on the design and cartography for this book about German wines his company had developed. 

We worked with a well-known Dutch wine expert, Robert Leenaers, who supplied the text and also advised us about the details of the maps.

Production costs were on a budget so we were restricted to two colours. This required the judicious use of tints to get the most out of both the maps and the design.

provincial archive expo | 1986

Via another teaching colleague, Chris Veldman, we were asked to produce a small exhibition about the work of the Provincial Archive for North Brabant in Den Bosch.

Finances were again very limited and after working out a simple maquette (right) and overall design we went on to put the various displays together.

Bill, together with student assistant Norbert, did most of the work. It was quite a challenge to achieve a satisfactory result with limited resources.

museum valkhof | 1999

Bill was asked by Studio Dumbar in Rotterdam if he would like to work on some infographic panels for the new Museum Valkhof in Nijmegen. The exhibition concerned Roman times in this oldest of Dutch cities and was intended to explain the background to many of the significant finds made there.

We worked together on a number of the panels where Linda's drawing skills with figures and suchlike were combined with Bill's ability with technical subjects. Besides this Linda produced a number of detailled drawings including a Roman cavalryman, horse with armour, etc.

We used hand-drawn images that were then scanned in and enhanced using the computer to add items such as roof-tiles and other details and the various tints for the backgrounds, etc. In production the illustrations were screen-printed on to adonised aluminium panels and looked very fine.

make your own book! | 1999

This was the last real job that we did together. Linda had moved on by this time into translation and editing work. Bill was working on infographic projects and teaching at AKV St Joost.

A good friend, Toine Post from the Spectrum days, asked us if we would like to do these illustrations for a booklet for children explaining how they could make their own books simply and enjoyably.

The idea appealed to us and we worked out a style for the illustrations using hand-drawn line images that were then scanned in and finished using the computer for the colour tints. The book was and still is a great success!