Eindhoven – an open source city brand?

From branding a country to branding a city in this case the Dutch city of Eindhoevn.

Both city and country identities can encounter similar issues, governments, councils and business usually see the case for a strong brand to promote them but the general public tend to see the costs associated as a waste and usually slate the logo as “something my nephew could have put together” roll out the backlash and excuses.

See recent reports on the Colorado logo (described as Clip Art) or this older one on more local to me Nottingham for examples of public outcry.

So to Eindhoven, whose logo has a few interesting elements.

Firstly it was created by a collaborative virtual studio of creatives from across the region, which seems a nice warm idea.

Secondly it’s adaptive so will change colour, angle, be rendered from different looking materials and so on, although nothing brand new (Melbourne comes to mind) it is interesting and it segues into…

Thirdly it’s open source. Which sounds like gibberish, but in practice this is providing the assets and perhaps some suggestions for use, but then letting local businesses an so forth use the logo as they wish choosing how and where to apply it, what colour and size and even edit and build upon it. This is an intriguing idea and the merkeindhoven site seems to be the place to see how the logo develops.

Finally it’s set to replace all city logos, be that for tourism, business the council and so forth, which is a great idea and should help reduce the fragmentation of brand so may destinations struggle with.

The logo itself is smart enough, certainly my kind of thing. It’s simplicity should allow it to take the hit when it starts being abused. The example applications look good to, but I’m not 100% sold on the “insulation tape” font, it works well in the logo but as an extended set? I’m yet to be convinced.

Still this is one to watch.


A ‘virtual studio’ made up of architecture, design and creative agencies from Eindhoven has devised an open-source visual identity for the city.

The group –  which includes design studio Raw Color, creative agency Scherpontwerp, Edhv and Eric de Haas – has designed a bespoke typeface and flexible logo that will be applied to signage, stationery, public spaces and communications. A set of brand guidelines will also be published later this month and the full re-brand is expected to take around two years.

To find out more or to keep up with Eindhoven’s progress see merkeindhoven.nl


Via the always excellent CR Blog »

Small study the possibilities to evolve in future applications the logo
Refining and developing the new Eindhoven letter
Sketches showing the “wiggle room” the identity has