Rob van Leijsen (1983, Tilburg, The Netherlands) is a multidisciplinary graphic designer and author based in Geneva, Switzerland. His 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 and 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” and it received an Honorary Appreciation at the “Best Book Design from all over the World” competition in Leipzig in 2015.

In the spring of 2019 he completed The Drone Chronicles, an editorial diptych that documents the evolution and integration of drones in our society. The book is published by the Centre de la photographie Genève and Spector Books. His most recent book, Copy, Tweak, Paste: Methods of Appropriation in Re-enacted Artists’ Books, is a print adaptation of the original essay published online in JAR #13 (Journal for Artistic Research). The bilingual publication (EN/FR) was published in 2020 by éditions clinamen.

Between 2016 and 2019, he was in charge of the visual identity and communication of the 2019 edition of Lausanne Jardins, a public festival with over 30 artistic installations exploring the theme of open ground in the urban sphere.

Through his self-initiated research projects, van Leijsen urges to reveal historical, social and geopolitical aspects that otherwise remain underexposed. The editorial format fits his comparative and journalistic approach and meticulous arrangements of data and archive material. It is on the fine line between art, design and research that he positions himself and that he is most comfortable.

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: Teacher, HEAD – Genève, visual communication department
2019 (Jan) – present: Cultural affaires committee, Ville de Nyon
2012 (Sept) – 2015 (Sept): Assistant, HEAD – Genève, visual communication department
2008 (Oct) – 2010 (Aug): Buro Petr van Blokland + Claudia Mens, Delft (NL)

2018: Prix Artistique de la Ville de Nyon
2015: The Most Beautiful Swiss Books of 2014
2015: The Best Book Design from all over the World, honorary appreciation, Leipzig
2014: Bourse Déliees, Fonds Cantonal d’Art Contemporain Geneva (FCAC), Geneva
2014: Research grant, IRAD department, HEAD – Genève
2012: Prix AHEAD, Fondation AHEAD, Geneva

2020: Neural Magazine, neural.it
2020: Hit Journal, Geneva
2019: WMMNA, we-make-money-not-art.com
2018: “Legible – Visible - Between the Film Frame and the Page”, Arts Santa Mònica, Barcelona
2017: “Copy, Tweak, Paste: Methods of Appropriation in Re-enacted Artists’ Books”, JAR #13, jar-online.net
2015: “Art Handler”, Issue 1, New York
2015: IDPURE no 37, Morges
2015: “The Most Beautiful Swiss Books of 2014”, Zurich
2015: Mister Motley Magazine, mistermotley.nl
2013: “l’Empathie ou l’expérience de l’autre”, Design Biennial St-Étienne
2013: Hochparterre Themenhefte: ECAL & HEAD
2013: Étapes #211, Paris

2020: Through the book(s) #9, Leporello Photobooks, Rome
2020: Copy, Tweak, Paste, Hit Art Space, Geneva
2019: The Drone Chronicles (solo), Gallery Eeeeh!, Nyon
2018: “SKOOB”, Gallery One Gee in Fog, Chêne-Bourg
2017: “Llegible – Visible”, Arts Santa Mònica, Barcelona
2016: “Lauréats des Bourses Déliées”, Flux Laboratory, Geneva and Zurich
2016: “Swiss Style Now”, The Cooper Union, New York
2015: “The Most Beautiful Swiss Books of 2014”, Zurich
2015: “Bourses de la ville de Genève”, Center for Contemporary Art (CAC) Geneva
2014: 26th International Biennial of Graphic Design, Brno, Czech Republic
2013: “Nouvelle Génération”, HEAD – Genève, Design Days, Geneva
2013: “Dream Team”, Design Biennial St-Étienne
2013: “Suspense”, HEAD – Genève, Art Genève
2012: “Art Handling in Oblivion” (Solo), Rosa Brux, Brussels