Karel van der Waarde studied graphic design at the Academy for Industrial Design in Eindhoven (the Netherlands) in 1986 and obtained his Masters degree in Information Design at Leicester Polytechnic (UK). He received his doctorate from the Department of Typography & Graphic Communication, University of Reading (UK) in 1994 for his thesis titled: ŒAn investigation into the suitability of the graphic presentation of patient package inserts.
In 1995, he started a design - research consultancy in Belgium specializing in developing and testing visual information. The company develops package leaflets, instructions, forms, protocols, and the information architecture for websites. The main focus is on information about medicines for patients, prescribing doctors and pharmacists on paper and screen and to supply 'people with information that enables them to act appropriately'. This requires observational studies, prototyping and testing as well as lobbying and publishing evidence based information.
Karel van der Waarde frequently publishes and lectures about visual information. He is moderator of the InfoDesign and InfoDesign-Café discussion lists. The Avans Hogeschool (Breda, The Netherlands) has appointed him as a scholar in Visual Rhetoric in 2006. It is a research post to investigate the development and use of visual communication with a longer term aim to support the relations between practice, research and education.
Van der Waarde is a life-Fellow of the Communications Research Institute (Australia), a board member of International Institute for Informational Design (IIID, Austria) and editorial board member of the Information Design Journal and Visible Language. He writes, edits and reviews articles, and contributes regularly to conferences and publications.