The Hague - Design and Government

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Kick-off at the Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague

The design of authority

The design of authority


A boy's dream, a girl's dream, intrigued by power, an increase in violence against social workers, the sometimes comic view of policemen on bikes. The fourteen students graphic design of the Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague all have their own motivations to participate in the project Politie-Polis-Carabi... Yesterday they started under the guidance of teachers Ada Lopes Cardozo, Gert Dumbar and Michel Hoogervorst, with a briefing by Ed Annink, intendant Design and Government. In the coming three months, they will work in couples on a design of a uniform and a car-striping for the (not yet existing) European police. Questions will be tackled like: Can power be designed? How to assemble authority with friendliness in one identity? How to cope with the pride of different nationalities?

Gert Dumbar told the students about his own experiences with the design of the visual identity of the Dutch police in the beginning of the nineties. His starting point was to approach the police as a brand. Something new for the police. Whereas less police cars were actually at the streets, citizens got the feeling the presence of police increased because of the growing visibility. An economic advantage for the government. Dumbar emphasized the sensitivity of designing for the police: the discussion rose whether the word 'police' could appear on the back of the uniform, because the 'o' would point out the exact location of the heart.

Parallel to the Dutch group, a group of Turkish students fashion and graphic design will start with the same assignment in Istanbul end of March. The results will be shown during the Istanbul Design Week in Istanbul, from 25 till 30 September, 2012.