Co-founder of Emigre in 1984, with Zuzana Licko.
Rudy VanderLans was born in the Netherlands in 1955. He studied graphic design at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague and graduated in 1979. Upon graduation, he worked as an apprentice and junior designer at Total Design, Tel Design, and Vorm Vijf. In 1981 he moved to California to study photography in the graduate program at the University of California, Berkeley.
From 1984 to 2005, VanderLans published, edited, and designed Emigre magazine, a quarterly publication devoted to visual communication. Shortly after Emigre magazine was launched, in 1984, the Macintosh computer was introduced. VanderLans, together with his wife, Zuzana Licko, became early adaptors of the new technology and they used the computer to experiment and created some of the very first digital layouts and typeface designs, causing great consternation within the realm of graphic design. Eventually, exposure of the typefaces in Emigre magazine resulted in demand for the fonts, which led to the creation of the Emigre type foundry. This growing library of digital typefaces, both experimental and traditional, is currently the principal activity and mainstay of Emigre.
As a parallel interest to his design ventures, VanderLans has been photographing the California environment since he moved there from the Netherlands in 1981. He has authored a total of six photographic books on the topic.
VanderLans is married to Zuzana Licko.