Studio Dumbar: Dutch by design

Can it be said, in these days of the internet and global travel, that a design studio’s location influences the look and feel of its work? Are Swiss, Scandinavian or Italian flavours still detectable in modern design? Or are we witnessing the visual equivalent of a multicultural feast nowadays? Well, whether or not you can see anything of the Dutch creative heritage in the work of Studio Dumbar, the Rotterdam-based outfit is certainly well embedded in the country’s design landscape.

When a train goes past, for instance, you’ll notice that it bears the double-arrow Nederlandse Spoorwegen logo. Graphic designer Gert Dumbar was instrumental in designing this identity back when he worked at Teldesign, before later setting up Studio Dumbar in The Hague in 1977. This work for the Dutch national rail company is still associated with Studio Dumbar, even today. As his studio and reputation grew, the country’s postal and telecommunications services, automobile association and even the police force joined the client list, along with various government departments. With the Danish postal service and Czech Telecoms also onboard, Studio Dumbar became a global player.

Studio Dumbar is open plan with designers sitting in pods of five or six

Studio Dumbar is open plan with designers sitting in pods of five or six

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