Gert Dumbar: Dutch National Police

Another equally iconic design by Dumbar is that of the then newly unified, Dutch National Police. According to the Studio Dumbar website, “This landmark project began when the merger of the State and Municipal police, two previously autonomous organizations, created one unified national police force. A new identity was required to signal this change to the Dutch public.” At the time, this merger wasn’t seen in the best of lights, many would’ve considered it to be highly unpopular. Which Dumbar would address by making a design that would focus more on character and clarity, while avoiding political criticism and overused design trends. With the final product being the red and blue stripes, it can safely be said that he was successful at avoiding the tired old trends that most police design identities follow. It speaks to his style of making bold, unique designs that are easily identifiable in the sea of the same old same old. According to their site, the striped design has won several awards and was voluntarily adopted by all of Netherland’s emergency services. They can be seen on police cruisers, boats, emergency vehicles, helicopters, and even motorcycles. This design, commissioned in 1992, was so successful and long-lasting that, it was reported that “the public thought the police had increased their presence on the streets, when in actual fact the number of cars had decreased due to budget cuts.” According to the studio dumbar website. And even though, internally, many were against the merger initially, the design had provided a sense of unity and pride for those within the force.