Karel Suyling

Karel Suyling (1926), all-round designer. Suylings father was an engineer at Philips. During the Second World War he wanted to become a pilot. As a person in hiding he came in touch with designer Frans Hazeveld, who worked at the advertising agency Van Alphen and he let him make drawings and newspaper advertisements. During military service he designed posters for the information department of the air force. He consequently worked for International Textiles, which published a colour magazine on fashion, but he was fired because he was Gentile, after which he became a freelancer. He obtained his first assignments from printing office Ruychrok in Haarlem and Duyvis. Suyling designed many packagings and also wrote in journals on this topic during the early 1950s. Advertising needed to be honest, he argued.
One of his most important clients was Citroën, for which he designed an entire series of newspaper advertisements between 1954 and 1972, which have won numerous awards such as the 1963 Duwaer prize.
Suyling was also active in the field of industrial design, he was a member of KIO (Association of Industrial Designers) and he was elected to partake in the study trip to the United States by the Contactgroep Opvoering Productiviteit (1953). With the mediation of the Institute for Industrial Design he received assignments from companies such as Kipp & sons (measuring and control equipment) and Staalmeubel (office furniture). Other clients included BP, Linoleum Krommenie, Buiscar, PTT, De 3 Hoefijzers and printing offices. He became an art director at the Flevoprint Group in 1972.
Suyling taught at the Academy of Fine Arts in Arnhem. He was the mediator between the VRI and GKf (Association of Practitioners of Applied Arts), and he was also one of the founders of the successor company GVN. From the beginning he emphasised a pragmatic and sober attitude towards the profession and the client, the rights of the designer and a decent renumeration.

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:
– Huygen, F. ‘100 Citroën-advertenties van Karel Suyling’, Rotterdam 1987.