Amsterdam’s new creative powerhouse
A WPP Campus
When leading communication services multinational WPP decided to brand its new Amsterdam campus, they turned to us to develop a name, brand identity and overall attitude and tone of voice. Not only did the identity need to capture the creative DNA of all 15 of WPP’s Dutch agencies and their sum total of 1500 employees, it also needed to establish the campus as an important new landmark in the
city of Amsterdam. The end result was a total brand identity immersed into every aspect of the campus – from logotype, iconography, wayfinding to custom furniture, interactive installations and statement walls. Moving forward, the conceptual framework we created will be applied to other WPP campuses around the world.
A space to breathe
We named the campus Amsteldok. It’s name referencing the campus’s location on the banks of the Amstel River, and the city’s status as an important gateway to Europe. We wanted a logotype that was directly inspired by the physical structure and found the Amsterdam School of Architecture – an expressive 20th century style predominant throughout the area – an important
inspiration. We envisioned a dynamic logotype and typographic language that fully embraced the campus strategy as a ‘breathing space that breaks down walls’. Design would contribute to the location as an inspiring living entity, not just another corporate office building. A campus that breathes creativity and collaboration.
Like all signature Amsterdam School structures, we embedded the identity into the physical campus: tactile hero signage, typographic floor furniture, etched wall renderings, crafted directory totem and embossed counters. The logotype also functions as a template for all online/digital programming and communication – from
digital posters, announcements and social events (speakers programs). Wayfinding was also an integral part of the spatial experience. We designed playful wayfinding icons that reflect familiar Dutch things – bike icons that look like the ones you find on Amsterdam streets, glass icons in the shape of Heineken glasses and a range of classic Dutch car icons.
Open for business
The name, brand identity, templates and technology were slowly integrated at the campus in the lead up to the official opening on April 1, 2019 by the Mayor of Amsterdam, Femke Halsema, and WPP CEO Mark Read.
The campus now houses all 15 WPP Dutch agencies and 1500 people. It has quickly become an Amsterdam landmark. Moving forward, WPP has indicated it will use our visual identity framework for all its WPP campuses worldwide.
‘We wanted to develop a brand identity for our campus in Amsterdam that reflected both the vision and the values of our company, while celebrating the environment and city in which the building is set. VBAT delivered on every level.’
Max Holliday, Head of Real Estate EMEA, WPP
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