Wrapping the Hydrogen- Resqueboat (2020)

Marine Service Noord (MSN) developed and engineerd seaworthy Hydrogen Technology for the maritime industy. To demonstrate their knowledge and experience in in this field; MSN has build the worlds first seaworthy Hydrogen- powered resqueboat. I gave directions to the creative process on designing the colours, and strategic messaging on her hull.

COLOURS: Studies from the Dutch Coast guard and Search and Resque (SAR) organisations show that the most striking colors on the water are: Orange, Red and Pink. Biological factors are most dominant in determing associated emotions that go with different color- sets- / combinations.

On the water the color orange has become the most common in the application of life-saving appliances (pink life-saving appliances sell very poorly); Red and orange are mainly associated with firefighting- and rescue services. The MSN- company- colors white and blue with orange accents, are also standing out on the waters, and make the resqueboat an immediately recognizable part of the company.

The Message: Powered by Hydrogen

The most important message on the hull of the resqueboat was to communicate MSN's Hydrogen Technology- expertise in a very visible manner, whitch must be recognizeable at a large distance. Therefore I designed a custom- wordmark as a possible brand for the Hydrogen Technology. This Hydrogen Technology wordmark was placed on both sides of the hull, and could also be used for future visual branding of the Hydrogen Technology in- or on other media.

The wordmark is elaborated in large (sans serif) royal (marine)- blue letters (contrasting against her background). The letter O has been given a graphic reference to the chemical symbol for hydrogen as a visual recognition of the science behind the technology.

The chemical symbol for hydrogen gas


Eye-catchers on ships are very old. Figureheads and foliage are usually placed on the head of a ship or on the transom (because these are visible from the shore for the longest time when the ship arrives or leaves port).

As a decoration, and to stand out; a special eye-catcher was designed to visualize the Hydrogen- technology. The placement, dimensions and relationship to the rest of the resqueboat determines how strong the eye-catcher will stand out. I developed a composition with graphic depictions of a mermaid and gasbubbles that visualizes (the power of) Hydrogen gas, which was later elaborated with an illustration by Oksana Stepanenko. This concept takes special account of the fact that the primary message (powered by Hydrogen) does not disappear against the decorative elements in the background.

In cooperation with Cign a special hullwrap was produced and placed on the hull of the resqueboat.

The first seaworthy fully hydrogen powered resqueboat was presented to the public in october 2020 at the Maritime historical museum in Groningen (the Netherlands). More pictures of the hydrogen- resqueboat sailing through the canals of Groningen- city can be found here: link

Credits to:

Hydrogen Technology: Marine Service Noord / Engineering | Marine Service Noord / Sales & Marketing | Illustration: Oksana Stepanenko

Thanks for some creative input:

Jitske Wadman, Sander Kuizenga and Ine Marijke Schurink.

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