Born in The Hague, The Netherlands in 1955, VanderLans studied graphic design at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts from 1974-1979. After graduation he took an apprenticeship at Wim Crouwel's Total Design studio, working on corporate identities for Vorm Vijf and Tel Design.
He moved to America in 1981 to study photography at the University of California, Berkeley, and it was here that he met and married Zuzana Licko. They founded the influential Emigré journal in 1984. Emigré took advantage of the development of the new Apple Macintosh computer and a bitmap font tool, and together, VanderLans and especially Licko developed fonts for the magazine.
Each issue of the journal focused on a theme and concentrated on work that the VanderLans and Licko felt was being neglected by other design publications. Emigré is still published quarterly and as well as graphic design, VanderLans has now also introduced a strong music element.
""We strive to create work of substance, designing meaningful and responsible work that stands the test of time. Our approach is rooted in the tradition of simple and content-driven presentation, where form and function work in tandem to organise information and create value.""