our home and studio

onze werkpraktijk bevestigt een eeuwenoude traditie: 

een vrij kunstenaar is een uitgever

het is goed daar de consequenties van te zien en te verwerken

 the daily practice of our trade shows an ancient tradition:


a free artist is a publisher


it is usefull to work to the consequences of this idea


we have three letter presses

on Dutch height: 66.047 Didot points = 25.2 mm

left is our >Korrex< 1956; 50 x 70 cm


and there is
the >Robel< ±1950 ;53 x 71 cm
the FAG FormTest ±1960; 38,5 x 58,5 cm

there are also a small platten press, a gilding press, some smaller lino presses and two larger etching presses (one has a 85 x 150 cm bed)

Onder de naam 'Atelier It Plein 19 - Oosterlittens/Rotterdam' presenteren sinds 1985 de drie kunstenaars Joop Visser, Nancy Knaap en Jacob Baars hun kunstenaarsboeken. De naam is afgeleid van het adres waar Nancy Knaap haar woonhuis/atelier heeft en waar de werkplaats van Joop Visser is gevestigd. Het 'idee' It Plein 19 bleek naast een koepel voor gezamelijke activiteiten, ook een goede plek voor materiaal onderzoek, artistiek experiment en artistieke samenwerking.

De leden mogen na langdurige en verscheidene studies werken als schrijver, schilder, graficus (traditionele- handtechnieken en computer), componist, ontwerper, restaurator, onderzoeker en leraar/docent.

Gedurende het al meer dan 15 jarig bestaan van de samenwerking van dit internationaal erkende team,
groeide de omvang van technische hulpmiddelen (handgereedschappen, persen, e.d.) en theoretische achtergrond (in de vorm van een bibliotheek en documentatiemappen) zeer snel aan. Daarnaast kwam er een steeds duidelijker rijtje"Boeken van Anderen" (bibliofiele- en andere mooie, bijzondere uitgaven van collega's.) Sinds 1993 zijn de technische middelen, bijbehorende literatuur en ook het pand 'It Plein 19' ondergebracht in de Stichting Boek/Werk/Onderzoek.

We started out as free artists. Nancy used to do painting and collage mainly, she is also a paper and book restaurer working for museums and private collectors; Jacob is a maker of free graphics and collage/object-trouvé, and Joop does both painting and grafics, whilst also being a composer of modern music; both Jacob and Joop do computer grafics/digital arts (free and applied). We met as friends and then found out we had common grounds in our love for books and their making. The making of books involves about everything in the field we played in anyway, which was good for starters.

Nancy Knaap and Joop Visser are practically neighbours having their homes and studios in Easterlittens, in the north of the Netherlands; Jacob has his home and studio in Rotterdam which is some 200 kilometers to the south-west.

Now we soon had to find out that there was a world outside, that had to be studied thoroughly in order to make books on the same artistic level as we considered our other work to be. The freedom we knew as artists-painters made us decide to build up a complete studio/printing office. We wanted to be able to make a book from beginning till end in our own studios. This meant that we had to start a collection of typeface and presses for printing and gilding much more complete than what we used to work with printing poetry as a 'sideline', and on top of that an uncertain amount of bits and pieces that you will only find a name for when you stumble upon it and find the odd old printer who still knows how to use it, with a blink in the eye: ' the old days, aye'. Wonderful people these old printers, that you have to get rid of again. To often the art of bookmaking has been kept in the golden cage of the crafts. We try to have all 365 days in a year alive and searching for ways to make ideas visible and we found that most of them are to be used in our studios; here we do not fight tradition but we study it until the moment comes that enough experience has entered our fingers in order to have them find their own way. If anything: when making books, free and independent, there is an enormous (though rewarding) struggle to be had in order to get yourself 'the golden cage with an open door'.

Joops' studio | | Nancys' studio

 It is a lovely old place, and as you can see it is crammed with the host of material one needs for experiments and realization of the never ending stream of ideas that seem to be there when you work together.

There are 3 letter presses, 2 etching presses, 1 gilding press, 3 paper cutting machines, all sorts of hand-tools, basins to moisten and wash paper and others for etching, drying sieves, a ceramic (and glass) oven and never enough led type-face. All our material is for the use of making prototypes, very small editions and one-off artists-books

The name 'Atelier It Plein 19 Oosterlittens/Rotterdam' we use to represent our artists-books. It is something like a sister of Joop Vissers' editing firm: >Uitgeverij It Plein 19<. In the years we have come to see it as odd that an artist is seldom seen as a publisher. As we do everything, the entire process, ourselves (form research and development of the idea, the study of the historic background and literature, the sketches, typography, printing, painting, until binding in all its endless new possibilities) it is only logic that we see the artist as being a publisher in his own right in the first place.




Atelier It Plein 19


Led typeface


1 Aigrette 24/36; Lucien Bernhard
(Lettergieterij Amsterdam,1934)
(orig. :Tango / Am. Type Founders)
2 Amazone 12,16,20,24,36; L.H.D. Smit
(Lettergieterij Amsterdam,1958)
3 Amstel romein 16;
(Lettergieterij Amsterdam,)
4 Annonce;
5 Antieke (kaart ?);
6 Arabella 12,16,28,48; A. Drescher
Ludwig Wagner, 1936
7 Arsis 12,16,20,48; Gerry Powell
(Lettergieterij Amsterdam,1937)
8 Atlas 16,48;
(org. Welt-Antiqua)
9 Aurora grotesque 6,10; Jackson Burke
(Mergenthaler, 1960)
10 Bodoni 12,16,20,28
11 Boston 14
12 Carlton 16,24;
13 Cheops mager 16;
(gieterij Enschedé)
(org.: Rockwell / Monotype)
14 Columbia; Walter H. McKey
(Lettergieterij Amsterdam,1956)
15 De Roos 6,10,12; S.H. de Roos
(Lettergieterij Amsterdam,1947)
16 Discus 12,20; Martin Wilke
17 Druckhaus antiqua 20:
18 Egmond mager 12,16,24,36
vet 8,12,24; S.H. de Roos
(Lettergieterij Amsterdam,1933)
19 Ella cursief 10; S. H. de Roos
(Lettergieterij Amsterdam,1915)
20 Engelse schrijf 16,20,28;
21 Epoche mager 10 halfvette 10;
22 Erasmus 8,10,16,24; S.H. de Roos
(Lettergieterij Amsterdam,1923)
23 Etienne, hout;
24 Excelsior 36,48;
(Lettergieterij Amsterdam)
25 Fantasie 12;
26 Figaro 16,24,36,48,60; Stef. Schlesinger
(Lettergieterij Amsterdam,19xx)
27 Folio 10,24 vet 24 mager 6,10,20
grotesque halfvet 24; Konrad F. Bauer & Walter Baum
(Bauersche Gießerei, 1957)
28 Forelle 10,12,20,24,48 vet 28;
29 Garamond 8,24 cursief 12,28;
(Lettergieterij Amsterdam/American T.F.)
30 Gill mager 36; Eric Gill, 1928

31 Gotiek 10,16,20;
32 Gotisch 8,10,16,28;
(Lettergieterij Amsterdam,)
33 Gracia 16,36
(Lettergieterij Amsterdam, 1927)
34 Gravure 12,16;
(org. Cochin / Deberny & Peignot 1914)
(Lettergieterij Amsterdam)
35 Grotius 28,36,60; S.H. de Roos
(Lettergieterij Amsterdam,1925)
36 Hollandse Mediaeval 12,16,28
cursief 12; S.H. de Roos
(Lettergieterij Amsterdam,1912)
37 Lectura 10; Dick Dooijes
(Lettergieterij Amsterdam, 1966)
38 Legende 20,48; F.H. Schneidler
(Bauersche Gießerei)
39 Libra 8,10,16,24; S.H. de Roos
(Lettergieterij Amsterdam,1938)
40 Lux Kapitalen 16,20,24
41 Mercator 8,12,20,24 mager 16
halfvet 10 vet 24; Dick Dooijes
(Lettergieterij Amsterdam, 1957-'61)
42 Mimosa 20
43 Mistral 12,20,28,48; Roger Excoffon
(Lettergieterij Amsterdam,1953)
44 Neue Haas Grotesque 48; Max Miedinger
(Haas, 1957)
45 Nobel 6,8,10,12,16 halfvet 36
vet 10,16,36,60 vetsmal 16
smal 20,24,28 mager 36
cursief 10,16; aanpassing
S.H. de Roos (Lettergieterij Amsterdam)
46 Oud Hollands 12,24,28,36
(Lettergieterij Amsterdam)
47 Pascal 8,10,12,16; J. Mendoza y Almeida
(Lettergieterij Amsterdam, 1961)
48 Polka 28,36,48; (org. U.S.A.) Peter Dom
(Lettergieterij Amsterdam, 1951)
49 Promotor 12,16,24; L.H.D. Smit
(Lettergieterij Amsterdam, 1960)
50 Reclame cursief 60
51 Romaans 16,28 vet 48
52 Romein 20,28 cursief 20
53 Römisch 10 cursief 10,12,16
54 Rondo 16,28; S.. Schlesinger / D.Dooijes
(Lettergieterij Amsterdam,1947)
55 Salon Antiqua
56 Savoy 24
(Lettergieterij Amsterdam)
57 Schrijf 16,24 (h.v. 16)
58 Schrijfmachine 12
59 Sirene 24,36 (Signal/Bertold)
(Lettergieterij Amsterdam)
60 Tannenberg 10
61 Tiffany 14,36;
62 Univers; Adrian Frutiger
Monotype / Deberny & Peignot, 1958
63 Vette Antieke cursief 16
64 Visite;