one academy:
six faculties
one logo:
six colors

amsterdamse hogeschool voor de kunsten

The Amsterdam University of the Arts (Amsterdamse Hogeschool voor de Kunsten or AHK) is a collective of art education faculties. As these six institutions change their communication strategy every few years, we needed a system that maintains the logo while allowing the names to change.

The new identity enables visibility and recognizability for the Amsterdam University of the Arts and its six faculties. One symbol, two perfect circles offset to the right stand at the base. Each faculty is identified clearly by its own color. What’s characteristic is that the name of the faculty remains black while the name of the main institution adapts its color.

inspiration  thonik feels that Amsterdam is an important international hotspot for culture and the arts. An institution like the Amsterdam University of the Arts needs to be not only visible but also instantly recognizable in the international landscape of the arts. Its faculties like the Netherlands Film Academy and the Conservatorium of Amsterdam need to be distinctive in their worldwide competitive field but also show a clear link to the institution they are bound to.

We wanted to underline the institution that is the Amsterdam University of the Arts to showcase the richness and diversity of the city’s cultural life and also demonstrate that public funds are well-spent on this important educational institution. We believe in putting a spotlight on culture in our society by creating singular design.

how it got done  We designed a bullet point: a logo that is a sum of the seven participants (the main institute and its six faculties). Next, we assigned a color from the full-color system (cmyk) to each faculty and to the institute. Instead of giving the faculty’s name a different color, we assigned this color to the name of the institute. For the logo of the institute itself we placed black over yellow and for the faculties it was black over one of the other six colors. This emphasizes the idea that each individual faculty is just as important as the main institute itself. For the typeface, we worked with Serifa, which is an Egyptian or slab serif. The blocky, strong horizontal serif fits the horizontal shift of the two overlapping circles, thus giving the logo a horizontal emphasis, as a light motif in the visual communication.

client profile  The Amsterdam University of the Arts is constantly innovating and developing. It occupies a prominent place, both nationally and internationally, in education, the arts and cultural life. The courses are taught in appealing locations in Amsterdam. The AHK offers courses at bachelor’s and advanced or master’s levels in: fine art and design, music, film, theatre, dance, museology, architecture and arts education.