The Hunting Association

The Dutch Hunting Association

Your identity and your image should basically coincide. At least if you manage to be who you are and the other person sees you the same way. But your image is never entirely in your own hands. There is always 'noise' on the line of communication and external factors also influence your image. But what you really don't want is pure contradiction. As in the case of the Dutch Hunting Association

Although hunting has been going on in the Netherlands for a very long time, and hunting has even been regulated ‘by law’ as a nature conservation measure, at one point the anti-hunting sentiment was so intense that the KNJV, as the mouthpiece of Dutch hunters, could no longer defend itself. Total Design was asked to think along with them about a solution.

The core of the problem was clearly a question of opposing views on whether or not animals should be allowed to be killed. A political and social debate at a time when, in fact, everything is under discussion, and perhaps not entirely unjustifiably so. But the debate must be able to take place, especially if the subject concerns society as a whole.

Corporate design shows who you are and what you stand for. Visual branding and corporate identity, complemented by behaviour (what do you do) and communication (what do you say) give a total impression of your personality. However, whether what you show is seen the way you want to be seen depends on the interpretation of the person who sees you. And usually, that is not a 100 percent match. In the case of The Hunting Association, there were even diametrically opposed views on what hunting is all about: killing animals. A real stalemate that even went as far that hunting had become almost impossible.

In a number of strategic sessions, together with KNJV, we searched for the core of the passion for hunting and analysed the behaviour of the hunter and the symbolism of the existing cooperate identity. We then compared this with public opinion. The next step was to find the core values, motives and characteristics that are acceptable to the KNJV’s environment, that do not provoke resistance.

The core of the new KNJV story was defined as love for nature, a feeling that Dutch hunters share, and that is, -this might sound paradoxical- one of the most important motives to go hunting. The Dutch hunters are very typically Dutch: honest, down-to-earth and social, but also proud and self-confident. The new logo reflects the connection with the Netherlands and the Dutch landscape. The traditional hunting symbols such as the hunter’s hat, the rifle and a dog have been replaced by a more abstract image, in which a green crown refers to the royal approval and an orange-red dot on the horizon suggests openness, balance, perspective and purpose. These notions are associated both with hunting in an open landscape as well as an open dialogue.

As a result of these interventions, the negative context has disappeared from the logo. The emphasis of the brand is now on the association rather than on the hunter. The corporate identity only shows field but no animals or shooting. Shifting the perspective to the association as representative of the hunters’ interests is a strategic choice. Instead of evoking emotion, we create space for the KNJV to do its work as an association. In the meantime, peace of mind has returned and dialogue has been re-established.

The most beautiful and instructive thing I experienced at the Hunting Association was the whole process around the new house style and the communication strategy that came out of it. And that I succeeded in doing so at the time.

— Reinier Enzerink, Manager Public Affairs