The legendary Rotterdam-based Studio Dumbar is known for some of the most iconic identities since its establishment in 1977. Its creative team has designed some of the Holland’s most recognisable visual identities, including rebrands for the Dutch railway systems, the Dutch government, Mauritshuis Royal Picture Gallery and the budget airline Transavia. The studio can now add another impressive project to its list of achievements: the dynamic and vibrant work for children’s cultural institutions Jeugdsportfonds – Youth Sport Foundation – and Jeugdcultuurfonds – Youth Culture Foundation.
Jeugdsportfonds and Jeugdcultuurfonds were founded to provide underprivileged children with sporting clubs and cultural activities by paying for their enrolment and funding their equipment. The two national institutions have now joined forces yet, in many parts of the Netherlands, continue to operate independently. The new institution sought out Studio Dumbar to establish the organisation’s unity while still paying homage to the two distinct companies. The result is a powerful and playful identity that effectively communicates the organisation’s child-focused approach.
“Although there are different target groups – municipalities, sponsors and intermediaries – the design is focused on the young. They are the central focus of the organisation and, by exemption, the identity. Our communication approach is clear and straight to the point,” Studio Dumbar tells It’s Nice That. The dynamic identity is comprised of striking colour combinations and bold, confrontational text with every poster featuring a child practicing a different sport. “The design is energetic, strong and positive. It reflects the attitude of the Jeugdfonds, encouraging the children to fulfil their full potential instead of focusing on their problems,” the studio continues. The identity is an insightful representative of the Jeugdfonds in that it respects the young athletes and depicts them as strong, capable agents of their own futures.
Confidence and determination undoubtedly characterise the youth foundation’s visual language but the designers also ensured versatility so that the Jeugdfonds could use the identity in a number of contexts. “The dynamic typography communicates to different target audiences as the emphasis can shift between culture or sport; there is room to play with the size of typography,” the Studio says. It adds: “The design can adjust to any format, making it very easy to use. It is important to create a simple systematic identity that can be used by all the members of the foundation.”