Corporate Story

It all started about 40 years ago. There was a revolution in the graphic industry which today we can hardly recall. Designers had stepped away from graphic companies, in search of room and freedom to offer their creative touch to customers away from production and any other interests. The Netherlands was the first country to experience this change. It had quickly transformed into the Mekka for design. Dutch Design had become world-famous.

Smidswater is one of the very first agencies in the Netherlands. It started as short-term cooperations and alliances of opportunity between designers, until in 1973 the agency gained shape and its name thanks to Sjoerd de Vries, Herman van Olphen en Geert de Jong. It was named after a street, along one of The Hague’s canals, where the office was located: Smidswater.

Functional design

Growth naturally followed. Due to recognition and success. Quality and great service – when it comes to the customer, the sky is the limit – continue to be our trademarks. To be able to guarantee both, Smidswater is always on the lookout for designers who truly care about clients’ challenges, to make a difference based on good and functional designs. The aesthetic aspect matters, but it is about getting the message across.

The atmosphere of the agency is inspiring. Home to young and talented designers who have joined Smidswater to excel, and continue to find innovative solutions, adding refreshing impulses to the world called graphic design. Major clients include Port Of Rotterdam, NN Group and ING Group. Our customer portfolio is extensive and varied.

Identity and digital media

Our profession is always changing. With many developments having their influence. From the 90s onwards, integration has been key. Integration of tools, but more often the integration and control of all communication modalities. The boundaries between PR, information, advertising, design and public affairs are fading. Corporate styles more often involve the wide-ranging issue of corporate identity and branding. The market demands are changing, questions arise about the more abstract nature of design. Vision, mission, strategic basic principles … New means of communication have stepped in. Smidswater has started an interactive department and have launched some of the very first websites.

Knowledge is power

Technology too is having its influence in other areas. Brand tools have beaten traditional brand identity guides. Digital newsletters have emerged. Internet software is making large-scale image surveys affordable. Our brand and identity scan is turning into a full-fledged validated measuring tool. It allows customers to monitor effectively how our work is changing their communicative power for the better. Technology has become part of our work.

A leap forward

Smidswater gained momentum in the early years of the new millennium. The step towards Breda and later Amsterdam has set in motion an unstoppable innovative process. Smidswater has a clear vision for the future where imaginative power matters. Whether it is about corporate identity, communication or individual publications. Imaginative power has a clear target. Intelligence and analytical skills are required to be able to go beyond customers’ demand, providing a perfect solution. Craftsmanship is required to create effective solutions.

Slowly but surely the agency’s current profile has come about. And so today Smidswater is a creative agency dedicated to three focus areas:

  1. Positioning and corporate identity
  2. Digital solutions
  3. Content and campaigns

Recent admission into the Dutch Digital Agencies, the trade association and knowledge organisation of the best digital agencies, confirms Smidswater is among the finest agencies of the Netherlands in this field.

These are exciting times with lots of opportunities. Our financial position is extremely good, boasting an extensive and interesting customer portfolio, and a large and promising network. More importantly though, Smidswater can rely on its talented people who are fully dedicated to delivering high-quality work, serving customers to satisfaction.

Our locations

We have inspiring creative workspaces in The Hague, Amsterdam and Breda.
You are more than welcome to visit.
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