Official TCS Amsterdam Marathon Merchandise

— Illustrations for the official merchandise during the TCS Amsterdam Marathon — the finishing touch —

Once a year, Amsterdam becomes the premier destination for over 45,000 runners hailing from 140 different countries during one of Europe’s biggest running events: the TCS Amsterdam Marathon. The main sponsor, Japanese sports brand⁠ Mizuno, asked me to create an identity for this year’s event and to transform it into illustrations for the official merchandise. Since 2019 was the year of Rembrandt van Rijn, and the Amsterdam Rijksmuseum houses some of his most famous paintings, it was only natural to base the illustrations on his work.

The first illustration established the merchandise’s identity and became its logo. Because the marathon starts and finishes at the Olympic Stadium, I used it as a main point of recognition for all athletes. The black, white and gold colors are a nod to Rembrandt’s later years, being influenced by the Clair-obscur movement. As the finishing touch I created a custom typeface with tight graphic shapes and a playful pattern. Nine other illustrations followed the first one, all offering their own little shout-out to the city of Amsterdam. A keen eye will notice details such as the “Amsterdammertjes”, the city’s canals, and the famous “Nachtwacht” painting.

The illustrations ended up on a plethora of merchandise, which were exclusively available during the International Marathon Expo on 18, 19 and 20 October 2019. The merchandise included both sportswear and casual clothing such as jackets, hoodies, shirts, tights, caps, headbands, socks, and even Mizuno’s famous running shoes. The event was a huge success with over 45,000 runners and hundreds of thousands of visitors. The merchandise was completely sold out, inspiring next year’s event to grow bigger still.

It was a huge honor to work on this amazing project. A big thanks goes to Mizuno, for giving me this nice opportunity!


Client : Mizuno
Merch Photography : Vincent van Kleef
Illustration and Design : Sjoerd Verbeek

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