Ahrend, company selling office supplies and office furniture. The family business Widow J. Ahrend and Son was founded by Jacobus Ahrend in 1896 and sold drawing tables, office supplies and instruments by mail order, and their catalogues have always attracted much attention. The company was also a market leader in reprography, supplying phototypes to architects. Ahrend also set up a bookstore, a printing office (Ahrend-Globe) and a publishing house (Kosmos). Ahrend-Globe was specialised in card systems.
In the 1930s, Ahrend started to sell office furniture, such as the Doe Meer (‘Do More’) chair and furniture, racks and cabinets from the companies Oda and De Cirkel. Ahrend had financial interests in the last two, a collaboration which resulted in a merger into Ahrend Groep NV. The production of furniture had by then become the company’s core activity, with structural attention to design. Friso Kramer designed the well-known Revolt chair, a drawing table, the Facet and Mehes systems and school furniture. Wim Rietveld was also connected to De Cirkel as a designer for some time. In 1971, Kramer became art director and a design team was set up, including Henk Verkerke, Wijtse Rodenburg and Bas Pruyser.
In the 1920s, André Vlaanderen worked for Ahrend at the graphic department, and after the Second World War there emerged a studio where A. Bogers, Cor Walstra and Ben Bos worked, as well as freelancers Gerard Wernars, Charles Jongejans and other members of the GKf (Association of Practitioners of Applied Arts).
The Dutch version of this biography is taken from the book Visies op vormgeving, het Nederlandse ontwerpen in teksten deel 2: 1940-2000 (2008) by Frederike Huygen. The following sources have been used for this biography:
– Wit, D. de ’60 + 40 is waarschijnlijk honderd. Ahrend, passers, pennen, potloden en projecten’, Zwolle 1996.