Jewish Cultural Quarter

A website opening doors to the Jewish history of Amsterdam

In the late 16th century, Portuguese and Spanish Jews fled from the Reformation and started settling in Amsterdam. It was the start of 400 years of the Jewish history of Amsterdam. Nowadays, the Jewish Cultural Quarter (JCQ) comprises six institutions showcasing the religious and cultural life of the local Jewish community. Highlights include the early days of the Iberian refugees, the Central and Eastern European Jews who arrived centuries later, the influence the Jews had on the Amsterdam’s community’s life, and the horrors of World War 2 and how the Jewish community got back on its feet afterward.

Total Design was tasked with designing the visual identity of the JCQ with a challenge: Don’t use obvious symbols like the Star of David or a menorah. The new logo was inspired by the square patterns found in the Great Synagogue in Amsterdam. In this project, I designed the JCQ’s website and a special site showing the life and work of artist Charlotte Salomon. (Seriously, check it out. Her story is mind-blowing.)

The idea behind the JCQ’s website is that nothing in history stands on its own. Every story is connected by people, places, events, and objects. In the same manner, over 150,000 photos, newspaper articles, paintings, religious objects, posters, anecdotes, and many more have come together in the JCQ’s website to tell you the fascinating story of the Jewish community in Amsterdam.

Year

2015 - present

Role

Digital designer, project manager

Scope

Website

Team size

5