Linda Van Deursen (Mevis and Van Deursen Studio)

Linda van Deursen is a graphic designer based in Amsterdam and has practice in book design and worked with multiple cultural institutions doing brand identity projects. She graduated from Gerrit Rietveld Academy with Armand Mevis in 1986 and the two would go on to form Mevis and van Deursen Studio the following year. Linda van Deursen has worked for more than thirty five years and also has experience as an educator as she held a position as the head of graphic design at Gerrit Rietveld Academy and currently teaches at Yale University as a Senior Critic as well as the graphic design department of The Royal Academy of Art, The Hague, in Netherlands.

As a high school student Linda held an interest in album and book covers, but it wouldn’t be until her time in college that she would realize that Graphic Design could be something she could pursue formal education in. This realization would lead her to pursue design at Gerrit Rietveld Academy where she would meet and befriend fellow peer, Armand Mevis. Linda and Armand would become interns at Studio Dumbar, a renowned design firm based in Rotterdam, and through that experience they found that a corporate environment wasn’t a fit for them. After graduation, Linda and Armand would rent together while applying for funding and employment opportunities as they knew each other from school.

When applying for the same project, a client had difficulty choosing between the two which resulted in the pair deciding to work together. While partnering for this project, they would realize their difference in modes of working as Linda held a playful and more inquisitive approach while Armand was more direct. However these distinctions often resulted in better work and as more time went on, it became apparent that these differences complemented one another. Although both Linda and Armand had opposing methodologies, one value held by both of them is that the work should always evolve to respond to the changing attitudes and ideas of the time. This does not mean a complete rejection of past solutions, but more so an openness to the infinite possibilities.

After the success of their first project, Linda and Armand would create Mevis and van Deursen Studio in 1987 and continue to work together. Their work in book design would be influential to many designers  and would also work with multiple cultural institutions like Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Work produced for them would vary from brand identity design, books, and posters. Linda has also separately worked on book designs for photographers, artists, and architects often resulting in beautiful layouts creating a new experience of a body of work through a book format.

Linda as an educator emphasizes an exploration of ideas, something she herself has held important throughout her work. Once you have a strong idea, the challenge is then to discover in what manner you will express it. In a classroom setting surrounded by peers, it is when a student looks at everyone’s end results they can realize the variety of possibilities in design solutions. Most importantly, through working with others one can realize the uniqueness of one’s own process and ideas.

Linda van Deursen’s work is influential in Dutch design and when looking at the thinking behind it, one can grasp why many respect her. Through maintaining an earnest work ethic and being open to new ideas, she has been able to create an impressive catalog of work and is now teaching those ideas to students. The quality that stands out in her interviews is the honest attempts to explain the rationale of her work, while also reminding us that this is her own process and we, the aspiring designers, should continue to carve out our own approaches to design solutions through our own experiences.



“Linda Van Deursen.” Yale School of Art,

Panel #1: Synergy and Collaboration, Kunstinstituut Melly, 22 Oct. 2021,

Sueda, Jon. “Mevis & Van Deursen Interview.” Stripe SF, 2007,