When Dutch football legend Johan Cruijff died in 2016, the City of Amsterdam decided to rename its biggest stadium after him. After winning the prestigious pitch, we created a new logotype, brand identity, custom brand typeface and wayfinding system for what henceforth is known as the Johan Cruijff ArenA.
The challenge was creating a brand identity that answered all stakeholder demands, honoured Cruijff’s legacy and positioned the ArenA as a cutting-edge multipurpose venue for sports, corporate events and entertainment. With a radical architectural upgrade set for completion in the future, the identity had to be progressive enough to position the ArenA against the world’s other leading stadiums – past, present and future.
Our creative approach integrated aspects of Cruijff’s legendary charisma into details both subtle and obvious. Within the logo word mark we emphasised the local spelling with an ‘ij’ ligature feature rather than attempt to hide it and created a custom brand typeface, inspired by the new stadium design. We also developed a set of illustrations, based on four key stages of Cruijff’s illustrious career, as part of the ArenA wayfinding system. To embrace Cruijff’s iconic shirt number, we incorporated a 14° angled motif as the foundation of the entire graphic system.