Reviewed

New Logo and Identity for the City of Amsterdam by edenspiekermann and Thonik

Long Live the Line Break

New Logo and Identity for the City of Amsterdam by edenspiekermann and Thonik
 

before

after

Reviewed February 12, 201402.12.14 by Armin

filed under Destinations and tagged with , , , ,

This month, the Dutch press went bananas with the news that the City of Amsterdam had redesigned its famous Saint Andrew’s Crosses logo at a cost of 100,000 Euros and all they got in return was a line break, moving “Amsterdam” under “Gemeente”. Same Avenir typeface. Same red crosses. Same municipal money in the bank minus 100,000 Euros. The change has become the subject of ridicule and, except for one sole voice of reason in the press, all everybody has focused on is the cost and the logo instead of understanding that this amount of money covers the redesign of a full identity and guidelines that support the government’s decision to bring all of its districts and operations under a single visual and organizational umbrella. Luckily, edenspiekermann has posted a thoughtful explanation of the project, which they designed in collaboration with Thonik.

Before continuing, a couple of interesting links: A video with man-on-the-street reactions and interview with edenspiekermann’s Edo van Dijk and a full PDF presentation of the new identity.

The city is undergoing a major reorganization; the city districts and about 20 services and companies disappear in their current form. Therefore, the city has to align and unify its identity system and adopts one single logo for everyone. Ultimately this operation will save money. As we’re all going to use identical letterheads and envelopes we can purchase them in larger quantities for less money. There will also be just one fleet marking design which enables us to use our vehicles wherever they’re needed in the city.

City of Amsterdam press release

New Logo and Identity for the City of Amsterdam by edenspiekermann and Thonik
Old logos on the out. “The City of Amsterdam didn’t have one single logo, but a system of logos comprising over 40 different variations.”
New Logo and Identity for the City of Amsterdam by edenspiekermann and Thonik
A collection of materials produced under the old identity.
New Logo and Identity for the City of Amsterdam by edenspiekermann and Thonik
New lock-ups for various sizes. Notice the XXXs remain the same while the wordmark changes.
New Logo and Identity for the City of Amsterdam by edenspiekermann and Thonik
Kick-ass grid. How the different sizes work. Animated.
New Logo and Identity for the City of Amsterdam by edenspiekermann and Thonik
Before and after of sub-brand treatment.
New Logo and Identity for the City of Amsterdam by edenspiekermann and Thonik
More sub-brands.

Regarding the one-hundred-thousand-euro line break: hell yes. The old logo had a very wasteful lock-up that needed a lot of real estate vertically and horizontally to work and then you had a big vacuum of space in between the XXXs and the wordmark. Breaking the name into two creates a more maneuverable logo that is easier to display at different sizes and improve its readability. It’s a small gesture for a logo but a giant leap for Amsterdamkind.

Hanane Lechkar, spokes person for the City of Amsterdam about the efficiency of this change:

“Among other things we’re going from 250 different types of envelopes to a maximum of 25 types of envelopes, to one unified letterhead and to one type of fleetmarking. By doing this we can purchase items in larger quantities which makes them cheaper in the long run.”

edenspiekermann blog post

New Logo and Identity for the City of Amsterdam by edenspiekermann and Thonik
Business cards.
New Logo and Identity for the City of Amsterdam by edenspiekermann and Thonik
New Logo and Identity for the City of Amsterdam by edenspiekermann and Thonik
Communication materials covers.
New Logo and Identity for the City of Amsterdam by edenspiekermann and Thonik
Signage.
New Logo and Identity for the City of Amsterdam by edenspiekermann and Thonik
A new isotype, Adam and Eva.
New Logo and Identity for the City of Amsterdam by edenspiekermann and Thonik
Adam, hard at work.

To be honest, there isn’t much of an opinion or critique to elaborate on in this project. It is what it is: a reasonable, straightforward system with minimal deviations in application that allow for clear and consistent communication in a city already abundant in creativity and visual horsepower. I don’t know about the rest of y’all thrill-seekers but this is the kind of project that gets me excited in all kinds of unprofessional ways. I love identities that are strict yet good-looking and are thoroughly formulated upon grids and rules. So, if anything, the City of Amsterdam got a hell of a deal for 100,000 Euros.

Thanks to Alex at Bang for the tip.

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