Open Fort 400

Title OPEN FORT 400Category campaignYear 2009Commisioned by
Netherlands Architecture Institute,
Ymere and The municipality of Amsterdam

One of the things I like most about being a graphic designer is that once in a while you get to do an entire campaign. In 2009 I was asked by Huib Haye van der Werf (at that time a curator at the Netherlands Architecture Institute) to help him shape the OPEN FORT 400 architectural competition.

1609 was the year that Manhattan (NY, USA) was accidentally discovered by Henry Hudson while searching for an eastern passage to China. 400 years later, this feat was celebrated with many cultural events in both Amsterdam and New York.
One of these events was the Open Fort 400 idea competition issued by the NAi, Ymere and the municipality of Amsterdam. People had to come up with ideas for a piece of wasteland in the North of Amsterdam.
Starting point for the contestants was the "open fort" Henry Hudson built in Manhattan. It was a fortress, but since the native Americans and the first colonists had only peaceful intentions, the fortress was never actually closed. Of course it all became a lot bloodier after this first period.
In sum: contestants were asked to submit ideas for an open fortress for the north of Amsterdam.

Design briefing
Huib was pretty straightforward with his briefing. He wanted something similar to the neo futuristic looking UIT DE TIJD flyer I designed for DE SERVICE GARAGE.

I appreciate clients pointing out what they like about my work, so I had no problem accepting the UDT flyer as a starting point. This is an excerpt from my first presentation.

This is the finished campaign logo with the sponsors and the rings that would become the background for all the necessary media.

During 2009, my assistant Andrès Lohlé and I designed a lot of stuff. Here are some highlights.

Booklet with the rules of the competition

The nominees were announced at a award ceremony with this slideshow projected as a backdrop.

Pop-up invitation (prototype by Andrès Lohlé)
This amazing pop-up card was unfortunately never really realized because of lack of time. I think Andrès really outdid himself. The card features the architectural volume that had to be filled.

The invitation for the exhibition

Exhibition design (by Kramer en van der Veer)

Animated logo

All Work