Case study
Stimuleringsfonds Creatieve Industrie



Prologue

September 2012 The Dutch Fund for Architecture posted an open call for designing an identity for ‘Stimuleringsfonds Creatieve Industrie’, a new fund that was born out of cutbacks in the national budget for culture. All the previous funds were fused into two new funds;

The Mondriaan Fund,
a fusion of Fonds BKVB and the Mondriaan Stichting, and

Stimuleringsfonds Creatieve Industrie,
a fusion of Stimuleringsfonds Architectuur and Fonds BKVB.

After a couple of meetings we - next to three other agencies- were invited to make a proposal for the identity. The briefing asked for an identity –or at least an icon– that visualizes the mission of the fund: to stimulate, to initiate and to connect. The last thing we wanted to do, is create an icon that visualizes one or more of these values. We preferred the idea of making an identity that didn’t have any references to any form of (sub)culture, in order to have a neutral position facing the applicants. An identity that only consists of the given elements: image and text. Any ‘added’ design would choose side, and therefore interfere with the idea that the fund stimulates ány form of quality. We searched for a newly designed typeface, that wouldn’t have any link to existing communication like for instance Helvetica, which is known for here neutral presence. We decided to put the name in the chosen typeface, and make a pure functional logo-set for different applications. At that time the first test versions of ‘Euclid’ came across. There wasn’t much of discussion about it. We thought the typeface was recognizable on itself, and sympatic without to much (once again) ‘added design’.



Euclid by Swiss Typefaces

Logo variations in Dutch and English

How the logo would work in colophons

The logo was going to be used mostly in colophons of external projects that were made possible with a fund. We created a logo-set that would easely fit in commonly used logo layouts.

When we made previous examples, we saw the big letters the Mondriaan Fonds and Fonds BKVB used as a logo. We thought this worked quitte well. It is simple, neutral but still recognizable. it’s just a letter, it doesn’t try to communicate anything else but the character it stands for. Next to that, an enlarged letter is just very beautiful. Although we prefered a fully written logo for external use, the idea of a letter as an logo appealed to us very much. Shortly after that we ran into the first problem. In English we would need to use a ‘C’ instead of an ‘S’.We solved this problem by saying: The logo is not an ‘S’ or a ‘C’, it’s a line that could be shaped into any form, for instance an ‘S’ or a ‘C’. A black line was the most elementary symbol we could think of. Potentially it could stand for anything. That was an idea that we really liked. Everything starts with a black line.

sketches for posters

a line…

…becomes a character (or two).

animated versions of the logo

A couple of months after the launch of the fund, the Dutch Government decided that the Netherlands had to invest in our knowledge economy. The creative industry potentially forms a major part of the international product, and the government wanted to stimulate this. Therefore the Fund asked us to make a particular sub-identity for ‘Internationalization’. We wanted to use the ‘i’, but that was not possible of course. This character already stands for ‘information’, and we are not in the power to change this :). In the design process we rotated the C by mistake. When we looked at it we thought it looked la bit like the ring around Jupiter, or the equator. When you animate this concept, it becomes even more clear. Still it was a sort of a rotated C, which is the english logo version of the fund. This was a nice incidental. The logo of Internationalisation referring to the English version of the logo only felt logic to us. Bellow you see the header which we designed for the newsletter focussing on Internationalisation.

Internationalisation header for newsletter

Stationary

A4 Letter front + back


linnen goody-bag

(left) compliment slip, (right) businesscards

Website

normal website

mobile version

Social Media

For the timeline and icon on Facebook we designed a logo that would connect the two with each other. The logo goes from the icon into the timeline. This was going to be a stage for commissioned projects. We thought it was nice to put the line around the projects in a way that it literally embraces the projects. In this perspective the fund is around the project, but it doesn't influence or shape it in any way.

Annual Review 2012

We live in a time where in less and less annual reviews are printed. That is probably a good thing when you look at the amount of paper used comparing to the people actually reading it.
When you translate ‘screen‘ into Dutch it says ‘image screen’ (beeldscherm). This is more accurate than was probably meant at first. Reading from a screen is just not so comfortable. It’s better to view images.

Having said that, we saw this project as an opportunity to make it as comfortable as possible. Next to that we get a lot of clients asking for pure digital solutions, so it was nice to dig into that anyway. In comparison to print, space is cheap on a screen. You don’t pay per pixel. Another good thing about a digital environment is that you have the opportunity to jump from one point to another, without going through all the pages in between. The review had to be made for pdf. This file format recently got some basic interactive functions, but we really had use them smartly to make the pdf easy to use.

We made all the text a lot bigger then we would, if it was for print. Also me made the background grey. When you look at a screen with only black text on white, the screen becomes a sort of lamp, shining in you face. We researched what was the best shade of grey to use on different devices. The review contains some roll overs. You see fragments of images. When you roll over you see the whole image. Also there is a button on the left top that leads to the content page. The content page contains links to all the pages it refers to. In this way you can navigate through the review really fast. The pdf format is interactively speaking a limited format still. The next step could be to make an annual review for the screen in a more interactive format.We have many ideas about this, but the technique keeps us to the ground. Still.

Introduction Film

The launch of the fund was held in Pakhuis de Zwijger (Amsterdam) in the beginning of 2013. The hall contains three big screens next to each other. We made a film to introduce the visual identity. The film was especially designed for these three screens. Bellow you see a versions which is downsized to a normal ratio (4:3). It was great to have a moment for the identity. Normally our work is out there, but it’s not the main subject, and it shouldn’t be, in most cases. But for this occasion it was, and that we find really cool. We like to thank Yme de Jong for designing the soundscape for the movie, and Anneloes van der Leun for giving us the opportunity to make this movie.



Application forms

The application forms where only made available in pdf format. This was a sort of in between form, because in 2014 the forms were going to be integral part of the website.

Anyway, the challenge was to make the forms as clear as possible. As said before, the pdf format has some simple interactive functions, so we had to use them smartly to make it all work.
The applying for a commission looked quite complicated to us, so we tried really hard to make the forms as user friendly as possible.
Forms are the most difficult objects to design, since they are sort of interactive and also ’un-interactive’ objects, because they interact only up to a certain point. When making forms you try to design them in such way, that they lead to as less frustration as possible. Still maybe some grid lovers love a good form when they see it…

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