Design Classics: The Dutch Police Identity and Striping

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A recent trip to Amsterdam has confirmed one more reason why the Dutch rule: They have the coolest police cars in the world.

Designed by Studio Dumbar in 1993, the striping, in particular, is yet another example of the functionality and artistic invention that manifests itself so frequently on the streets of Amsterdam. The identity, which was designed by creative director Joost Roozenkrans, was named one of 25 Dutch design icons in the last 100 years.

In a 1996 article in Graphis, studio founder Gert Dumbar mentioned a few of the unexpected benefits of the design:

Through our new striping, police vehicles have become much more visible. People see them everywhere. So even when there’s less surveillance, the public still think there’s more! The visibility of the police has increased and people feel safer – now that’s efficiency!

We’ll have much more to say about the state of design (and designers) in Amsterdam in the February issue of Print, so stay tuned.