Highlighting the work and the people of in-house design, communication, and brand teams from companies around the world.





Groningen, The Netherlands

Marketing Groningen is a non-profit organization that aims to make the city and province of Groningen, The Netherlands, more attractive to visitors, companies, investors, congresses and talent. Its goal is to increase the pride for the region of its citizens and to tell the story of Groningen. It does so by different projects, campaigns and the Groningen Store.

Company size



Place Branding

In-house team Est. 2019



We are a team of three graphic designers working for Marketing Groningen, a non-profit foundation that aims to make the city and province of Groningen, The Netherlands, more attractive to visitors, companies, investors, congresses and talent. We designed the new identity, a living brand with great flexibility to highlight the many faces of the region. We work together on all projects Marketing Groningen rolls out. This can be a campaign to attract young talent to Groningen, designing a new magazine, a city guide, or new products for the store. In most projects we’re both art directors and designers, but occasionally we also help out with the strategy. In some cases the workload is too high to do all the work ourselves and we hire external designers to help us out.

Our job is also to keep the identity strong and recognizable but never boring or predictable.


Team Members (3)

(AS OF PUB. DATE: Feb/13/2023)

Anne-Marijn van Rooij

Art-direction, graphic design & strategy

Kim Smits

Art-direction, graphic design & strategy

Matthijs Maat

Art-direction, graphic design & strategy

On working in-house…


We work for Marketing Groningen for 3 days a week. This gives us a steady income. And we get to work on all the different aspects of design. We have learned so many things during our time here. From creating a magazine from scratch to directing photographers or animators.



A big challenge for us is the fact that we work from 2 different places. Anne-Marijn works from Zaandam (near Amsterdam) and Kim and Matthijs work from Groningen. This means a lot of Whatsapp messages back and forth almost on a daily basis. Then there’s the challenge to keep the work fun. When you work with the same identity for a few years, it asks a lot from your creativity. But we keep finding unexplored territory, without compromising the identity itself. Another important challenge is working for an organization that is financed by external parties. Since they pay, they sometimes expect to have a say in the design process. In those cases it’s important to try to keep everyone happy, without losing your own design principles along the way. After all these years, we’ve learned you just can’t win every battle.

On working with…


Yes, when the workload is high, we hire external designers to help us out. These are mostly the more straightforward design jobs. This happens quite often. We have an external team of about 4 designers to assist us. This gives us some flexibility and helps us to focus on the more important projects. Now and then, we hire photographers or illustrators. If we do, we always go for local talent.



We have started with the new brand identity in 2019. What was originally meant as ‘just a minor logo change’ turned out to be so much more. The new identity was rolled out pretty quickly and since then we have been trying to keep up with all the projects that pop up, one after another. This has led to the fact that the brand book is still a work in progress! For us, as the design-team, it’s not a big issue. We know what the brand looks and feels like. But when we hire external designers, it can sometimes be time-consuming to explain why something isn’t working. Still, the brand-book is now planned to be finished somewhere in 2023. We’re getting there.

Brand overview
Brand overview
Gelukkig ben je in Groningen

A Wes Anderson inspired campaign to promote the region to both visitors and citizens.

Gelukkig ben je in Groningen2022
Chocolate letters

The letter G in chocolate, made by a local chocolatier with typical ingredients of the region.

Chocolate letters2021

A magazine that shows all the hotspots of the region, but also tells you about the hidden gems. Available in 3 languages.

Magazine 2020 and 2022
Welcome campaign

A campaign to make (new) students feel welcome to the city.

Welcome campaign2021 and 2022
Poetry by Night

Poetry by local kids is shown all around the city on billboards, light projections and light columns.

Poetry by Night2021 and 2022
Groningen Store

An overview of some of the products created for the store.

Groningen Store2019-2022

Various products designed with patterns that highlight different sides of the region.

Pattern 2021
Art is all around you

Campaign to celebrate the cultural side of Groningen. We asked 5 local artists to visualize the creative side of the city. Illustrations by Rommie Schilstra, Megan de Vos, Vaaf, Mara Piccione and Jan Hamstra.

Art is all around you2021

Ongoing promotions to make everyone feel welcome and to help out local shops and entrepreneurs.

Gastvrij 2022
Off the beaten track

A Rolling Stones exposition in the Groninger Museum was supposed to be the start of a campaign to promote off the beaten track places in the city. Unfortunately a certain pandemic made sure this campaign never took off.

Off the beaten track2021


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