Willem-Alexander

On 30 April 2013 the new King of the Netherlands was inaugurated in Amsterdam. You couldn’t miss it. With 1,100 flags and banners, more than 500 bus shelter posters and billboards, 30 decorated buildings, 140,000 paper crowns handed out, and animations displayed on various stages, Amsterdam put on its best face for the 1,100 journalists, newspapers, TV broadcasters, press agencies and camera teams from more than 50 countries.

In late February, the City of Amsterdam asked Koeweiden Postma to submit a design of the city dressing for the Royal inauguration. We were given just one week. The design brief was simple: create a design that is both festive and regal. The most important conditions were: the design cannot include a crown, nor can it show text or any images of the new monarch.

In short, decorate the space around the National Palace with the national colours red, white and blue, because the event is all about the King of the Netherlands. And add orange and ‘I Amsterdam’ around the rest of the city where people are celebrating Queen’s Day as they do every year. Orange is after all the colour symbolising the Netherlands at its most festive because of its association with our royal family, the House of Orange-Nassau.

During the very first meeting with the City of Amsterdam, we discussed possible symbols to use for the event, as we felt using just the colours would be insufficient. So we came up with the initials of Willem-Alexander. As a starting point of the design we used the existing monogram of Willem-Alexander, but without the crown. The rest of the design speaks for itself.

Willem-Alexander

For the first time in more than 122 years, the Netherlands has a King again, which was certainly a reason to celebrate. Amsterdam had never looked so colourful.

For us it was a joy and honour to contribute to this event.

Willem-Alexander

Willem-Alexander

Willem-Alexander

Willem-Alexander

Willem-Alexander

Willem-Alexander

Willem-Alexander

Willem-Alexander

Willem-Alexander

Willem-Alexander

Willem-Alexander

Willem-Alexander

Willem-Alexander

Willem-Alexander

Willem-Alexander

View more design work on the Koeweiden Postma website.

June 25, 2013

Comments

Well, this is fun, isn’t it? It really is quite amazing what a good balance of regalness, festiveness, and Dutchness this project achieved. Designing a monogram fit for a king can’t be easy yet this solution is remarkably simple and effective but most importantly it establishes the diagonal-line foundation for the 1,100 flags and banners, 500 bus shelter posters, and 30 decorated buildings that appeared throughout the city. Even the gradients, that would otherwise seem gratuitous add just enough dimension to the graphics to make them sizzle a little bit more. I can’t imagine the complexities of a project like this so it’s quite commendable that the result is vibrant and contemporary without veering into the gaudiness expected of Royal events.

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