The history of Brentano
Brentano has a long history that began in 1776, when Josephus Brentano took over his father’s trading enterprise. With the large capital that Josephus acquired, he established an extensive art collection which included paintings by Rembrandt, Frans Hals and Rubens. In 1821 Josephus Brentano died.
In his will, he dictated that a portion of his collection was to be sold to found a home for “Roman Catholic male citizens of the lower middle class and of good character”. In 1824 the Brentano Foundation bought an old house with a barn at Herengracht, Amsterdam, for 35,000 guilders. This remained the home’s location for a long time, until it moved to the current address in Amstelveen in 1974.
Live your own life
In 2010, the Brentano Foundation thought it was time for renewal. Led by Jantien Anderiesen and Autobahn, Brentano took a turn for the better. The slogan “Live your own life” acquired a pivotal role in the communication.
This attitude is reflected in the photography: fresh and lively colors, active people and nature shots. This gives the viewer the sense of freedom.
We used both stock photos and specifically created photos by Jordi Huisman: with the stock photos we can create a certain ambiance or refer to a situation, whilst Jordi Huisman creates real life images of Brentano’s residents. This combination enables Brentano to visually communicate in an honest way.
Autobahn chose an effective and clear approach for Brentano’s information supply. It is expressed in the colors and photography, as well as in the tone of voice of textual and visual communication.
Complex issues such as euthanasia and psychological problems are discussed in a challenging but clear way. But the bright side of life is always highlighted!
A specially designed typeface: Brentano
Because elderly people often cope with loss of eyesight, we conducted a typographical survey among the residents. As a result of the research, we decided to create a variant of the Calluna font in collaboration with type designer Jos Buivenga.
The typeface we created is especially designed for large-sized texts, font size 13 or 14. It was named appropriately: Brentano.
Brentano now uses this typeface for all its communication. The residents really feel this is “their font”.
The stationery, envelopes and business cards, as well as the brochures and the magazines for employees and clients underwent a total transformation.
The magazines are an important communication tool to inform the residents and the employees and keep them up to date about the foundation’s activities. The bright side of life is shown wherever possible. A beautiful example is the eventful life of Hennie Kuiper and Martin Nierop, who are still completely self-supporting at the age of 89 and 95.
The new visual identity symbolizes what Brentano stands for: “Live your own life”.