Rob van Leijsen is a multidisciplinary graphic designer based in Geneva, Switzerland. His design practice mainly aims at commissioned and research projects in the cultural field, notably editorial design. He currently runs his own design studio and teaches at the visual communication department of HEAD – Genève. In 2012 he finished his Master in Design Spaces & Communication at HEAD – Genève with “Art Handling in Oblivion”, a catalogue that assembles five art collections that have been stolen during wartime. “Art Handling in Oblivion” was subsequently published by edition fink in 2014, and selected – as part of the fink twice series –, as one of “The Most Beautiful Swiss Books” of 2014. The book also received an Honorary Appreciation at the “Best Book Design from all over the World” competition in Leipzig in 2015.

In June 2013 he obtains a Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS) from the Zürcher Hochschule der Künste (ZHdK) for a research about methods of appropriation in contemporary artists’ books. In 2014 the project receives a grant from the Research Institute of HEAD – Geneva (IRAD), and is then published in the Journal for Artistic Research (Issue 13, spring 2017) titled “Copy, Tweak, Paste: Methods of Appropriation in Re-enacted Artists’ Books”.

In 2016 he founds “Dabook”—a publishing house based in Lausanne with a focus on Swiss design practice—together with Demian Conrad. “Famous Ordinary Things” is the first book published.


— 2012-2013, ZHdK Zürich, Certificate in Advanced Studies (CAS) in Artistic Research
— 2010-2012, HEAD – Genève, Master Design Spaces and Communication (MA with mention excellent)
— 2003-2008, AKV | St. Joost, Breda), Graphic Design (BA)

— 2012 (Sept)-present, Independent graphic designer
— 2015 (Sept)-present, Guest teacher, Head – Genève,
visual communication department
— 2012 (Sept)-2015 (Sept), Assistant teacher, HEAD – Genève, visual communication department
— 2011 (July), Intégral Philippe Délis, Casablanca
— 2008 (Oct)-2010 (Aug), Buro Petr van Blokland + Claudia Mens, Delft

— Selection for the ‘Most Beautiful Swiss Books of 2014’, 2015
— Honorary Appreciation at the ‘Best Book Design from all over the World’ competition, Leipzig, Germany, 2015
— ‘Bourse Déliees’ grant by the Fonds Cantonal d’Art Contemporain Geneva (FCAC), 2014
— Research grant, IRAD department, HEAD – Genève, 2014
— Prix AHEAD, Fondation AHEAD, Geneva, 2012

‘Copy, Tweak, Paste: Methods of Appropriation in Re-enacted Artists’ Books’, JAR#13, www.jar-online.net, 2017
— Art Handler Magazine, 2015
— IDPURE #37, 2015
— Catalogue of ‘The Most Beautiful Swiss Books 2014’, 2015
— Mister Motley, 2015
— l'Empathie ou l'expérience de l'autre, Design Biennial St-Étienne, 2013
— Hochparterre Themenhefte: ECAL & HEAD, 2013
— Étapes #211, 2013
— Étapes #210, 2012
— Slanted #20, 2012
— Slanted #15, 2011

— ‘Llegible – Visible’, Arts Santa Mònica, Barcelona, 2017
— ‘Lauréats des Bourses Déliées’, Flux Laboratory,
Geneva and Zurich, 2016
— ‘Swiss Style Now’, The Cooper Union, New York, 2016
— ‘The Most Beautiful Swiss Books of 2014’, Helmhaus Zürich, 2015
— ‘Bourses de la ville de Genève’, Center for Contemporary Art (CAC) Geneva, 2014
— 26th International Biennial of Graphic Design, Brno, Czech Republic, 2014
— ‘Nouvelle Génération’, HEAD – Genève at Design Days
Geneva, 2013
— ‘Dream Team’, Design Biennial St-Étienne, 2013
— ‘Suspense’, HEAD – Genève at Art Genève, 2013
— ‘Art Handling in Oblivion’ (Solo), RosaBrux, Brussels, 2012
— Graphic Design Festival Breda (with Holy Grey), 2012
— ‘Black&White are not colours’, Ship of Fools gallery,
The Hague, 2011
— Chaumont Poster Festival (with Holy Grey), 2011
— ‘Dip in Space’, Head – Geneva & matali crasset at Salone del Mobile Milano, 2011
— ‘The Fliproom’, Printroom Rotterdam (with Holy Grey), 2011

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