In 386 pages that evolve from black over yellow, orange, red, purple, blue, green over black again, graphic designer Hugo Puttaert (° 1960) takes us on a visual trip that urges us to ‘Think in Colour’. This Brussels-based award-winning professor, editor and creative director at large, demonstrates in over 350 colour and black-and-white illustrations created by his studio Visionandfactory why graphic design matters and what effects it has on our everyday lives.

Ever since its foundation in 1990, Puttaert’s design studio Visionandfactory has played a prominent role in the international graphic design scene. As one of the movers and shakers of the discipline, Puttaert offers us a kaleidoscopic view of his studio’s multifaceted output. Texts by internationally acclaimed design writer Rick Poynor and by Steven Cleeren (Design Vlaanderen, Kwintessens) offer insights into the studio’s history and contextualize Puttaert’s vision on art & design and the social responsibility of the designer. The black cover adds a typical Visionandfactory touch: once you rub the cover’s surface or heat the book, everything turns to colour.

Colleague graphic designers/teachers Jan Wouter Hespeel and Randoald Sabbe (better known as Jan and Randoald) designed the installation. The implementation was realized by Labt.

More about Hugo Puttaert

Hugo Puttaert is a graphic designer, organizer, professor and editor based in the greater Brussels area, Belgium. He trained as an artist at Sint Lukas Art College in Brussels and worked as a graphic artist for ten years before starting up his own graphic design studio visionandfactory in 1990.

He is professor at Sint Lucas University College of Art and design, Antwerp, where he’s the head of the graphic design department and the publishing research platform YellowPress. Hugo is the initiator and programme director of the Integrated conferences at deSingel in Antwerp.

Hugo has been a speaker at several international design conferences and symposia and has contributed to a number of magazines and newspapers. Since 2005, he is editor-in-chief and creative director of, a Belgian magazine focusing on cutting-edge, socially relevant graphic design from Belgium and elsewhere.

Hugo Puttaert and visionandfactory have worked as designers and consultants for a wide range of businesses and cultural organisations, integrating corporate and editorial design skills with innovative communication strategies.

Hugo Puttaert on design: “All too often, design is merely used as a trendy lubricant to facilitate the marketing of anything and everything. To many people, the concept of design conjures up the image of some item of modern, sleek ‘design’ furniture. But in fact, design is not about the product, it is about the act. The word ‘design’ traditionally refers to a process, to planning and preparing something using detailed preliminary studies and sketches. Design should be about designing.”

Jan Middendorp (Berlin, 2012)


Published by MER. Paper Kunsthalle -

Authors: Rick Poynor & Steven Cleeren.
Translation by Patrick Lennon.
Concept and design: Dimitri Jeannottat (Zurich) -
in collaboration with Hugo Puttaert.
Photography: Sven Dauphin (Brussels) -
Image editing: Marjeta Morinc (Zurich)
Typefaces: Stanley by Ludovic Balland (Basel),Theinhardt by François Rappo (Geneva)
Printing & binding: Graphius (Ghent)
Silkscreen: Dioss (Ghent)

Thanks to: Ludovic Balland, Joyce Beumer, Aurelie Daems, Luc Derycke, Sabine Dobbelaere, Denis Geers, Jan Wouter Hespeel, Joris Lambert, Guy Lauwers, Jelle Maréchal, Mike Monteiro, Randoald Sabbe, Luc Vermeire, Pieterjan Volckaert, all V&F collaborators and interns and all V&F clients and partners.

Hugo Puttaert/Visionandfactory
de Rudderstraat, B–1080 Brussels

©2014 MER. for this edition.
©Hugo Puttaert/V&F for this edition.

ISBN 978-94-9177-518-5

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilized in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, including photocopying and recording or any other information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher and the editor.

Made with the support of: Agentschap Ondernemen, Dioss Print Solutions, Design Flanders, Graphius, Papyrus and Vlaanderen in Actie.