The Hague - Design and Government

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Cover of the  'The style of the State'

Initiated by Foundation Design Den Haag in cooperation with the Ministry of General Affairs
Project team: Ed Annink, Fiona Atighi, Hestia Bavelaar, Maaike Molenkamp and Martien Versteegh
Text, research and interviews : Maaike Molenkamp and Martien Versteegh
Editor in chief: Hestia Bavelaar
Design: Ontwerpwerk, The Hague
ISBN: 978-9081-549-72-1
Distribution: Idea Books

An overview of the various logos of each ministry from 1947 to the present.

Preliminary sketches for the Dutch Railways logo, Tel Design, 1986.

Preliminary studies for the logo of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, Total Design, 1996.

Preliminary studies for the logo for the Minstry of General Affairs, Studio Dumbar, 2002.

Premier Jan-Peter Balkenende presents the new government-wide logo.

The style of the State

The style of the State

The visual identity of the Dutch government


Following the Second World War, the Dutch National Government was divided into ministries. Each department had its own writing paper, adorned with a variation on the same theme: the national coat of arms. In the seventies, however, ministries became keen to distinguish themselves, and sooner or later each of them introduced its own visual identity. In 2007, the Balkenende IV cabinet decided to put an end to the resultant fragmented representation of the government by introducing a single visual identity for the entire central Government. In the design of the new logo, the time-honoured national coat of arms made a glorious comeback.

'The style of the State' gives an overview of the visual communication of the State Government throughout the years in relation to the developments within Dutch society and the world of graphic design. The book is a tribute to the visual identities that have never been published before. It uses words and images to tell the story of how the new government-wide visual identity came about.