visible and accountable

gemeente amsterdam

In 2000 the city of Amsterdam communicated with no less than 50 logos for all the different departments and districts. This fragmentation reflected an identity crisis of the administration. The role of the state as the guardian of public interest and the representation of community had eroded over the years.

inspiration  In Amsterdam we see three crosses in many logo’s and decorations. The three crosses are part of the medieval shield of the city. Nobody knows exactly what they signify, though they might stand for three bridges crossing the Amstel river. Because of its historic origin and its omnipresence, all citizens immediately associate it with the city of Amsterdam.

how it got done  We advocated a clear, open and understandable communication style for the city’s administration, so that it could regain their sense of pride but would also be visible and accountable at the same time. At the heart of this openness is the adaptation of the three crosses as the logo for the municipality. City and government share one symbol: this advocates a new balance in the relationship between citizens and government. The style was developed in collaboration with EdenSpiekermann. 

client profile  Amsterdam is the capital and most populous municipality of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. There was a time when Europe was ruled by Amsterdam. In the 17th century the city, albeit quite small compared to other capitals, had a profound and dominant influence on the science, art, trade and culture of an entire century. Amsterdam has not lost in relevance since, being a world player but always in an atmosphere of openness. Protecting a lifestyle of freedom and tolerance.