A sober identity with a strong recognisability

Total Design designed the logo and look and feel of the Individual Compensation Committee of the Dutch Railways (Commissie Individuele Tegemoetkoming NS)

In 2019, the committee for the individual compensation of victims of WO II transports by the Dutch Railways (NS) started handling requests for compensation from survivors and immediate relatives of transports that were carried out by the NS during the Second World War. During the Second World War, at the request of the occupying power, the NS supplied special trains with which people from the Jewish, Roma and Sinti communities in the Netherlands were transported. The occupying power intended to exterminate these population groups in concentration and extermination camps in foreign countries. The NS is the first Dutch company that has taken the initiative to offer compensation to these victims on moral grounds.

The Committee presented a recommendation in the summer of 2019 regarding the form and execution of a scheme to provide individual compensation to the victims of these transports and their immediate relatives. After which a digital environment was created where applications for individual compensation could be submitted up to 5 August 2020 and where more information could be found about this compensation scheme.

Total Design created the website, look and feel and the logo for the compensation scheme. An identity for this sensitive subject may not have any undesired associations. The end result was a typographic and unobtrusive house style that was clearly recognisable despite the absence of colour and graphic elements. The logo symbolises arms that are reaching: a compensation that can never rectify anything, but that serves as a moral gesture with which the NS wishes to express recognition of its part in the individual suffering inflicted on the persons in question and their immediate relatives by the occupying power.

Over 7600 victims and immediate relatives of the Holocaust submitted an application between 5 August 2019 and 5 August 2020 to qualify for an individual compensation.

I really think it’s exceptional. How you can create something so strong with so few elements.

— Job Cohen, Chair of the Individual Compensation Committee of the Dutch Railways

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Martijn Arts

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