Maritime District
Place branding & communication toolkit

Have you ever really been to Rotterdam?

“Those who haven’t been in the Maritime District, haven’t been to Rotterdam.”
The Maritime District featured 238 ambitious businesses and cultural organizations when we stopped counting. They asked us to write the brand story and develop the accompanying place branding. We brought Brand Urban Agency on-board, which gave momentum to the coalition.

Port of the city
The area where shipping in Rotterdam began. Where lively terraces alternate with unique historical buildings. Where the modern skyline of Rotterdam is visible and keeps on growing. And the place in the Rotterdam where you can experience all of this from the water. Nowhere else do water, history and the modern city come together as beautifully as they do in the Maritime District. This trinity was the foundation for the place branding.

Robust and accessible
We turned the ultimate symbol for ports and the marine industry – the anchor – on its head, creating a bold monogram: the M for Maritime. In addition, we developed a visual style based on buoys. These mark the perimeter and highlight the area’s features. As a visual identity it is functional for the organizers and accessible & recognizable for visitors.

All hands on deck!
Taken By Storm developed a branding toolkit full of effective communication examples. It also shows local organizations how the Maritime District brand can be added to their own materials. We also shot and created an image database, which portrays the best sights in a modern dynamic. More and more organizations are naming the Maritime District and adding the brand to their site, email footers and print communications. Now the only question that remains is: have you ever really been to Rotterdam?

Nowhere else in Rotterdam do water, history and the modern city come together this beautifully.

An area is marked off, using buoys in the water and buoys in the air!

Letterhead in the 21st century: the Maritime Museum has added the Maritime District branding to all their employees’ emails.

The buoys work to mark off the area on the map, road signs and the pavement.

Communicating the values at sites where transformations are taking place.

The buoy added to existing materials.


Behind the scenes

The best spots in the Maritime District were explored and captured, as part of an extensive toolkit that allows the local organizers to easily create promotional materials.