Het Concertgebouw

Striking the right note

Brand Identity Refresh At VBAT I created a new graphic system for Het Concergebouw, the famous concert hall in Amsterdam, using shapes based on the huge golden lyre that sits on top of the building. The shapes create a flowing, musical, negative space on the posters and communications which gives a distictive character even when the instituion is often restricted to using photography provided by touring artists.

Although the old logo was retained, I created a new lock up with their strapline 'Alles klinkt mooier in Het Concertgebouw' (everything sounds more beautiful in the Concertgebouw). The strapline takes the same typeface and leading as the logo and continues upward like notes on a sheet of music.

The logo and lock up together have eight elements - the same as a musical scale, so I created these logo animations with a variety of musical scales, representing the range of types of music you can hear at the Concertgebouw.

First Choice: Concertgebouw - VBAT Refreshing awards. This project for me wasn't just a rebranding/refresh exercise, as you not only looked at Brand Communication but also considered the 5 senses. You took inspiration from the architecture, the history of the venue and the music. This is very clear in the new branding and sound mnemonics which are all strong brand properties.
Peter Barwick
Global Packaging Design Manager, Nestlé
Second Choice: Concertgebouw - VBAT Refreshing awards. Why? Because there was a simple idea applied across the applications and the music type mnemonics were well crafted and showed the variations of music available at the venue. A tonic.
Greg Quinton
Chief Creative Officer, Superunion
First Choice: Concertgebouw - VBAT Refreshing awards. This for me is the winner. Concertgebouw has a rich history. Difficult to work on and easy to destroy. Nevertheless the result has rigour and is very well executed. I especially like the addition of sound. It gives a new depth to the idea of a ‘visual’ identity.
Richard van der Laken
Founder, What Design Can Do
Creative Director and Founder, Designpolitie
Third choice: Concertgebouw - VBAT Refreshing awards. Originality: It is difficult to create a corporate framework, without limitations to every separate message. Here we see the opposite: The corporate framework elevates every single piece of communication.
Execution: It is simple, yet beautiful. It adds quality to the Het Concertgebouw brand as well as to every artist or event, advertised on the separate posters.
Relevance: It expresses the classical heritage of Het Concertgebouw, but the simple execution also makes it a modern brand, in touch with everything that’s happening in the world of classical music today.
Lode Schaeffer
Chairman, ADCN
Creative Director, INDIE
Overall winner
VBAT Refreshing Awards