The Gerrit Noordzij Prize 2001 was awarded to Fred Smeijers in a meeting at the Konklijke Academie van Beeldende Kunsten in The Hague. The prize was first given in 1996, to Noordzij himself, during the ATypI meeting there. With this second award, the institution became more clearly defined: the previous winner makes an object to give to the new winner, and holds an exhibition of his work. Usually this will take place in the Meermanno Museum (Museum of the Book) in The Hague, though it was being refitted and was thus out of action for this occasion.
As well as the prize giving, the afternoon’s celebrations included a short ‘laudatio’ given by Robin Kinross for Fred Smeijers, and the presentation of Gerrit Noordzij’s long-awaited book, De handen van de zeven zusters, published by Van Oorschot in Amsterdam. Of all the Dutch type designers, Fred stands nearest to Gerrit, in his conjunction of strong hand-skills and fearless independent public thinking. The prize is due to be given again early in 2003, when Fred Smeijers will hand a gift to the new winner, and be the subject of an exhibition and small publication.