Thursday, 14 July 2011

Frederika Sophia (Fré) Cohen

Fré (Frederika Sophia) Cohen
Dutch, Jewish and socialist graphic and typographic designer,
woodblock and ex-libris printer.

Forgetting this ploughing farmer by this important Dutch artist in last post I haste myself in correcting this omission. This ex-libris besides also has the Hebrew words from Proverbs of the Fathers (Avot 2:15): the day is long and the work vast.

Besides designing and printing ex-libris', 

Fré Cohen's work was also commisioned  by the City of Amsterdam and other Governemental Institutions. 

This "Giroboekje" (personal cheque book) a very typical and very familiar example of Dutch Art Deco. 

Her very delicate type fonts (named Freco) are considered typical Dutch Art Deco and to this today are still in use in artwork and is taught in art schools.


  1. What a find! Is the last example of typography justr thjat? There are 2 British architects in there.

    Unusually for you, there is very little about here life.


  2. I found out about one architect (Rowland) just this afternoon. There's easy acces to more facts on her life, she is well documented. I only stumbled upon her because of the ploughing woodblock. I leave the names puzzle gladly to others. What combines or connects these names ? The X and Z are missing a quick glance learns.

  3. Wonderful images Gerrie.
    I presume by the year of her death that Fre was a victim of the holocaust.

  4. Her hiding place in the countryside betrayed, she comitted suicide rather than being deported. The rest of the family perished too but one sister Sophie survived. In contrast to her short life her influence was great because of her talent and working for the city of Amsterdam.

  5. For more info on Fré Cohen see this page (in Dutch):

  6. And the source of that page: