Experimental Jetset: Stedlijk Museum signage system

Photos (c) 2004 by Gert-Jan van Rooij.

“To underline the temporary, interim character of the location, we decided to compose the sign system entirely of so-called ‘document holders’: hard plastic, transparent A4 cases. This proved to be a very easy and practical system. We would print out the A4s ourselves, and just fill the holders with them.
Added to these more pragmatic reasons, the bureaucratic aesthetic of the document holders also referred perfectly to the old function of the location (post office). Furthermore, this signage system was a way to channel our fascination for standardised formats (such as the A4 format) and modular systems. We also liked the fact that the document holder is such a common element at exhibitions. For our sign system, we took this common element, and we exaggerated it by blowing it up to absurd proportions: we used 2000 of these plastic A4 holders in the whole building.

We actually used two different sorts of document holders: flat, envelope-style cases, which would carry only one sheet of paper. And thicker, box-like cases, which could carry several pieces of printed matter (information sheets, folders, booklets, etc.) for visitors to take away.

Although these document holders have a strong ready-made aesthetic, we actually designed the cases ourselves: they were custom-made for us. (This because existing document holders proved to be a little bit bigger than A4, while for our system it was important that all the cases would fit perfectly).” from experimental jetset website


(all content from Experimental Jetset. All rights reserved, © experimental jetset 2011)


See also the signage for the Stedlijk Museum CS Signage System as described in Lupton’s Graphic Design Basics “This sign system was created for the temporary headquarters of a major museum in the Netherlands. The basic module is a plastic document holder, into which standard sheets of A4 letter paper are inserted. Large-scale graphics are tiled across multiple plastic envelopes.” Experimental Jetset

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