Today is the 5th of December, and that means it’s a special day in the Netherlands. All year Sinterklaas (or St. Nicholas in English) has been writing down the names of every child in the country, and tonight is the night they find out whether they will be rewarded for being good. Creeping across the rooftops with his trusty horse Amerigo, and his helpful assistants (also know as “the Pieten”), Sinterklaas visits every home to deliver gifts and sweet treats such as letters made of chocolate to kids and parents alike.
Apparently we’ve been very well behaved at the Amsterdam Studio this year as we all arrived this morning to a very special seasonal treat, created for us by illustrator and author Andrew Bainbridge. On each desk lay a few Pepernoten (small traditional spiced biscuits) and a beautiful hand printed woodblock portrait of Amerigo himself.
A closer look revealed that Amerigo was made out of carefully selected letters, numbers and punctuation marks – a typographic twist on the traditional chocolate letters. With each print signed and numbered, and accompanied by a short poem (written by Francesca, our intern who is a student of Andrew), our unique Sinterklaas gifts quickly got us in the festive spirit. And, as our studio used to be a stable in a former life, having so many horses around certainly felt appropriate!
You can find out more about Andrew Bainbridge and his whimsical new book (filled with plenty more extraordinary typographic creatures) later this week on our blog, as Claire will be reporting back on our latest At the Bar event where Andrew was our guest speaker.
A big thank you to Alicia for the words and Richard for the images.