Joost Grootens: Organising complex data through design

Amsterdam-based graphic designer Joost Grootens organises complex information into maps, books and graphics.

Amsterdam-based graphic designer Joost Grootens studied architectural design at Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam and is self-taught as a graphic designer. His studio, Studio Joost Grootens, specialises in translating complex data into atlases, books, and maps, and designing both the maps and the books themselves.

“The main speciality of our studio is to organise complex information,” says Joost Grootens.

While Grootens is involved in the production of maps, he insists that he is not a mapmaker but rather a map designer. His studio uses colour, typography and language to emotively express a writer or publishing company’s wants.

I design to understand the world I live in and I feel that I am a translator,” – Grootens. 

Architecture, urban space, and art are important influences for Studio Joost Grootens – The studio also designs books on subjects such as the history of the Israeli-Palestine conflict, informal world markets, and 19th-century defence mechanisms.

“I try to translate numbers and data into visuals and graphic elements using colours and shapes. I feel that images work intuitively; people are able to read them more intuitively,” Grootens.