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War Memorial in Geffen, NL

Contributed by Stephen Coles on Oct 23rd, 2012. Artwork published in .
War Memorial in Geffen, NL 1
Source: Photo: Reuters. License: All Rights Reserved.

Following protests, the Dutch town of Geffen will not display the names of German Wehrmacht soldiers along with Jewish Holocaust victims on a new monument. The monument, scheduled to be unveiled Saturday in the eastern Netherlands town, “was meant to promote reconciliation but instead caused controversy,” Mayor Roel Augusteijn said at a televised news conference Thursday to explain the decision. — Forward

There appear to be no protests, however, about the design of the memorial, on which is hastily inscribed the following phrase in Comic Sans with unnecessary straight quotes:

'Verzoening’ Ter nagedachtenis van alle slachtoffers van oorlogsgeweld
(Reconciliation. To honor the memory of all victims of war.)

Update: I guess there actually was some blowback about the typeface choice, as stated on the local government’s official site (Google translated):

On Saturday, October 20 was the unveiling of the monument 'Reconciliation’. Questions have arisen about the choice of the font Comic Sans.

The reason for choosing this font is practical. The Working Group, in consultation with the sculptor chose a slightly rounder and thicker font to use that form fits well with the stone and readable from a distance.

The looks on these faces match my own upon first seeing the memorial.
Source: Photo: ANP. License: All Rights Reserved.

The looks on these faces match my own upon first seeing the memorial.

War Memorial in Geffen, NL 3
Source: Photo: ANP. License: All Rights Reserved.


  • Comic Sans




Artwork location

11 Comments on “War Memorial in Geffen, NL”

  1. And of course, Comic Sans is the only round, thick font with high legibility. *facepalm*

  2. Don’t you just love it when they post-rationalise massive blunders…

  3. Lovely kerning on the “Te” and the “offe”.

  4. And not only that, the key word here 'Reconciliation’ is enclosed in fully unnecessary quotation marks – faux quotation marks to make it even worse. That  stone is a total shambles.

  5. Holland has a rich history when it comes to graphic design. I’m proud to be a part of that heritage. But then something like this comes along… We should have a memorial for all the times Comic Sans is used in an unappropriate way.

  6. Drew Portnoy says:
    Oct 23rd, 2012 11:38 am

    I’m psyched they did it just to hear you all whine about someting petulant and unimportant. 

  7. That’s right, Drew. If the subject matter is really important, then it shouldn’t matter that the client hires someone who doesn’t know the first thing about design, because caring about getting something important right is so very petty.

    “It looks like you’re about to commemorate people who died in a war. Would you like help?”

  8. Cathy Walsh says:
    Oct 31st, 2012 3:09 pm

    Nicely put Maurice, because it is, of course, not petulant and unimportant. The fact is that we read as much from format and design as we do from the wordage (and punctuation). A memorial that reads as sarcastic? Not exactly what you want.

  9. Harm Post says:
    Nov 5th, 2013 8:46 am

    Apart from the wrong 'quotation marks’ there’s a linguistic blunder. In translation it says: In memory from all victims of war violence.

  10. Vicar thoughts: “lower  ‘t’  looks like a Cross…”

  11. Adrian says:
    Oct 24th, 2016 8:06 pm
    The engravings on the monument have now all been changed.

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