The Hague - Design and Government

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Visual identity for the police, 1993
Design: Studio Dumbar

Gert Dumbar

Graphic designer, member of the Board of Advice Foundation Design The Hague en chairman of the international jury for A new symbol for Europe.

Interview Gert Dumbar

Foundation Design The Hague

Interview with Gert Dumbar

You gave the Dutch police a new face. What do you think of the idea of one visual identity for the European police?
'I am a advocate for Europe when we talk about legislation, I am also pro Euro, and concerning the police:  I plead for adopting the Dutch design I made with my team at Studio Dumbar. It is thought over on all its merits. It is stylish, durable, politically neutral, easy, cheap and applies to all still to develop vehicles. At a severe accident the opened doors of the police car serve as a roadblock. The visual identity did not only make the police more visible, it also shows it is a modern company, not a bureaucratic institute. It sends out a feeling of trust and safety, also towards foreigners. It is a Dutch icon. It would be a big challenge to make something better for Europe.

The government has been a big commissioner for the design sector in the Netherlands. Can the government increase their eminence abroad this way?
'Holland is a stubborn little country that always works with society in a positive way. You have got people that go with the flow, which is a typical Dutch attitude: people that are willing to go upstream and fight for their ideas. Our architects and designers innovate, they make good designs acting upon instructions from the government. This attitude from the Dutch government astonishes American designers, because there the designer with the cheapest, ugliest and worst design gets the assignment. Dutch designers can profit from that; they get government assignments from abroad.'