Brandmerk by Esther de Groot


Dutch Design Week ended in Eindhoven yesterday (Sunday) but here is another project from the Design Academy Eindhoven graduation show: Brandmerk, by Esther de Groot, is a series of amulets representing national identity based on brand logos from the wearer's home country.

De Groot exhibited amulets for the USA (top), France (above), Germany (below) and the Netherlands (bottom).

Here's an explanation from de Groot:


An illusion on tour

Originally the amulet was an object with great individual value and personal meaning for its wearerer. Nowadays famous brands are a big factor in determining a persons identity.

National brands are also growing in popularity, because consumers seek warmth and security in brands of their own country. Representing famous national logos, these amulets symbolize the contradiction between the longing for security and nostalgia on the one hand and present-day Western commercialism on the other.

National symbols as: de Nederlandse leeuw, der Deutsche adler, le coq Francais & the American eagle are built out of the famous brands of each country. Travellers who leave home can wear these amulets as lucky charms.

Esther de Groot

Posted on Monday October 29th 2007 at 1:59 am by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • Nuno

    Sorry but this is boring and useless.

  • h

    wow…so much like Tjep’s blingbling it’s not even funny.

    complete thumbs down.

  • design student

    To borrow ideas from a designer to create a new project is absolutely acceptable. But to flat out plagiarize an existing design that already exists, that has had plenty of media coverage for almost ten years is unacceptable.

    Frank Tjepkema’s Bling Bling is part of the permanent collection at the Stedelijk museum in Amsterdam. I have no idea how Esther de Groot can present this design to the public and keep a straight face.

    What’s even more mesmerizing is the fact that this piece is being showcased as an original design instead of being pointed out as theft, copy or fraud.

  • A combination of different brands logo’s for each country? Even though they are branded they really seem to represent any particular country. Plus all those companies are so global now that these are also fairly backward looking

  • Student

    Agree, Copied and uglier… I can’t believe the design academy let her graduate on this project! BLUH!

  • ART student

    I think you guys are all missing the point. It’s not so much about its design characteristics or originality, it’s more about the concept of consumer branding. The majority of people feed into brands and cling to them as if they were pieces of identity. I think the pendants make for an interesting yet sad statement.

  • designer

    i agree, that some of you are missing the point. I also think that this project is about the sadness of nowadays consuming world and the position and power of worldwide brands (and of course the influence it has on peoples identity). That is probably also the reason why it says: ‘an illusion on tour’. So i don’t think the pendants are ment as an very serious piece of jewellery, but more as a statement of the designer on the present-day Western commercialism. And as for the comparences with bling bling; it ends by the use of logo’s. Different concepts.

  • Portland

    At the very least, she should have credited Tjep as an inspiration.