The new The Hague City Logo: One day before take off

Since The Hague took over an Alderman from Amsterdam who introduced the successful slogan/city logo:

I Amsterdam
I Amsterdam

which slogan/city logo made The Hague envious, it is not so strange that The Hague gave the same Alderman a free hand in launching a new logo for the city The Hague – also known as “‘s-Gravenhage” or “Den Haag” or “Hofstad” (i.e. Royal Residential City) in the Dutch language.

The launch is anticipated tomorrow, 1 November 2006.

The logo has been designed by Anton Corbijn, the more famous of two famous Dutch Corbijn photographers, his brother being Maarten Corbijn, also known as Corbino. Anton became famous as photographer of pop stars like David Bowie, Miles Davis and many others, as a designer of many album covers and also for his close relation with U2 as Bono’s favorite photographer, which culminated in his recent book U2 & I (good site to listen Electric Storm of U2).

So, of course the launch promises to be a spectacle. A lot of noise was made already in a Dutch press and in the municipal board where Mayor and Aldermen had to defend their selves politically for the huge cost of the launching party, a mere Euro 192,000 for a two hour happening, or as the paper says Euro 52,77 per second. In addition there will be a wester storm to blow the 1000 invited people from the scaffold that has been erected for the occasion.

Another storm is that the logo has been leaked (or a dummy, you never know):

Leaked logo

and is already appearing on T shirts:

Leaked Logo The Hague

(Thanks AD)

This caused the local paper and a local TV station to organize a logo contest which attracted 50 entries and resulted in this winning logo:

Winning Logo The Hague

(Again thanks »AD)

But my favorite remains be this:

Old Logo of The Hague

This is a photo (by GJE himself) of a very old logo once (in 1901) belonging to the “Hofstad Fanfare” of The Hague which doesn’t exist anymore.

A fanfare is a typical Dutch and Belgian orchestra, with trumpets, trombones, flugelhorns, French horns/saxhorns, tubas, saxophones and percussion. Fanfares are usually orchestras that play walking. They walk and enhance celebrations and ceremonies usually in the open Air.

This logo shows an important element of the logo (or cote of arms) of The Hague, the stork.

Many people are fearing the stork will disappear from the logo. We will see tomorrow. The launch will be happening around the corner from where I live, so I have to have make time to have a look and let you know.

Finally the Grand Old Lady reopened

meridien 02

After a renovation of 18 months at a cost of Euro 35,000,000 for just 92 rooms, Hotel “Des Indes” of The Hague (as it is known locally) reopened this month.

Its present name is Le Meridien Hotel Des Indes, but I expect it soon to be renamed “Starwoods Des Indes” or “Sheraton Des Indes” because recently the letter of intent has been signed that Starwoods acquires Groupe Le Meridien.

note added in 2006: It kept its name Le Meridien Hotel Des Indes under the Starwood label.

A friendly lady of the staff gave me a private guided tour, as everybody who wants to have a look gets a private tour during three moths after opening between 9.00 AM to 9.00 PM by a member of staff, especially made available for this job on rotation basis. That’s fantastic service and PR.

Another pleasant feature of Des Indes is that it wants to attract as many locals as possible by having lounge, bar and restaurant which are interconnected, open to the public from 07.00 hr AM to 01.00 hr AM while you can eat and drink whatever you want. Fantastic…finally a place of international standing in The Hague, where you can enjoy breakfast at 3.00 hr PM after your flight from Los Angeles to forget your jet lag, or book a supper after concert or theater at 11.00 hr PM, while Dutch kitchens normally tend to close at 10.30 hr PM. Perfect!

It is also very clear that all personnel that returned is very proud of the result of the renovation that for the interior part was led by French designer Jacques Carcia, known of many hotel renovations as for instance Hotel Costes, and L’Hotel, both in Paris. Personally I find the design not so flashy as in those two French Hotels, probably because Des Indes is not an Indy (independent hotel)…

Sleeping in a survival capsule

In my search for extra ordinary hotels I found this: Sleeping in a survival capsule. An artists’ collective has placed two capsules in The Hague (NL) to sleep in.