You don't look a gift horse in the mouth, right? Somewhere in the Netherlands there is this bar. It’s called ‘Het Gegeven Paard’. Translation: ‘The Gift Horse’. The name is an unmistakable reference to the expression “You don’t look a gift horse in the mouth” and a play on the core concept of the bar, which serves free food to the punters coming in for a drink.

overzicht branding het gegeven paard

Maybe it caught your eye already: the logo of ‘Het Gegeven Paard’, or ‘The Gift Horse’ in English, is actually a goat. No, this is not a mistake. It was created with the same ‘don’t look a gift horse in the mouth’ motto in mind. Because a gift logo shouldn’t be looked in the mouth either, even if it turns out to be a goat. To be honest, no one ever noticed. Not even our client… right up until… this article appeared.

het gegeven paard is een geit

The entire concept of the branding is based on the motto ‘lean and mean’. Which means we wanted branding elements that were cheap to produce and easy to implement. In our experience, the most beautiful branding ideas are often lost in the heat of battle or, in other words, in a bar running at full speed. To prevent this from happening, we kept things simple. With a set of preprinted golden stickers, any medium can be branded very stylishly. We also provided a simple A4-template in Word, which the managers themselves can simply adapt and print on standard salmon-pink copy paper. Throughout the venue there are signboards to which these A4 prints can be easily attached with small clip-ons. This way, being up-to date is simple as that. All communication can be adapted at all times in the blink of eye, without having to wait for graphic designers or printers.

het gegeven paard gif typo

het gegeven paard business card

Another key component to the branding is the tone voice. Het Gegeven Paard is a real persona that talks to its guests. It creates a certain dynamic and interactivity. Some examples: during carnival ‘the gift horse is in the hall’ (referring to one of the most famous Dutch carnival hits), for heavier partying ‘the gift horse is hot and heavy’, for job openings ‘the gift horse is looking for stable hands’ and so on. This is a tone of voice that can be kept alive forever and has a witty character. Overall result; a bar with an attitude that is treasured by many of Utrecht’s inhabitants!

het gegeven paard gouden sticker

het gegeven kalf

het gegeven paard staff

het gegeven paard menu

Scope of work

interior design
project management




Utrecht — Netherlands


Stichting Muziekpaleis Utrecht