"The grand title editorial designer, which I sometimes use, is a slight provocation. I am not a graphic designer, and don't aim to become one, but as a design critic and editor, I have come to regard the craft of designing as essentially the craft of organizing meaningful structure. Writing, editing and design are connected. We may have different talents and professional expertise, our common job is to organise interfaces between content and form. Conversely, every visual design principally is an editorial activity. As a writer and editor, I highly value this aspect of designers' expertise. In that respect we are colleagues in editorialism."
Max Bruinsma is an independent design critic, editor, curator and editorial designer. He studied art-, architecture- and design history in Groningen and Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Since 1985, his critical writings have featured regularly in major Dutch art- and design journals and in a range of international design publications (a.o. Eye, Idea, ID, Blueprint, The AIGA Journal, Étappes, Form). in 1997, he succeeded founding editor Rick Poynor as editor-in-chief of Eye, the international review of graphic design, in London. Before, Bruinsma was editor of the Dutch design magazine Items, published and edited several books on (graphic and new media) design, and taught at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy and the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam. In 2003 his book 'Deep Sites, intelligent innovation in contemporary webdesign' was published by Thames & Hudson, in English and French editions.
In 2005, Max Bruinsma curated a major exhibition on the cultural significance of communication design, 'Catalysts!', for the ExperimentaDesign biennale in Lisbon. He is currently curatorial and editorial consultant for the biennale. Bruinsma is co-founder of a new masters course in Editorial Design at the Graduate School of Visual Art and Design, Utrecht, the Netherlands, which also started September 2005. A guest lecturer on contemporary visual culture and design, Bruinsma has presented at numerous art academies and congresses throughout the world, including on-line courses and workshops for several design academies. Besides his work as an art- and design critic and educator, he was a music editor and program maker for VPRO, a Dutch radio and television broadcasting organisation and an advisor on cultural affairs for a great variety of institutions. In 2005, Max Bruinsma received the Pierre Bayle Prize for Design Criticism.
Max Bruinsma's shortest definition of the design profession is: "Designers are cultural catalysts".