World Baseball Classic


I was approached by ESPN to create a poster that represents the Netherlands in the 2017 World Baseball Classic, the official world championship of baseball.
After having talks with the trainer of the Dutch youth team and visiting a training session of the Dutch team, the thing that stood out was that most of the star players are from Curacao and not from the Netherlands itself. So using Dutch elements such as cheese, our flag and windmills wouldn't make a lot of sense, since it would discard the biggest part of the team and the most popular players.
I looked for elements that would represent the Kingdom of the Netherlands and would steer away from all mentioned cliches. I wanted elements that would feel alienating at first glance, if you'd expect a 'Dutch' poster, but would make perfect sense if you are into baseball and are aware that the Dutch team isn't just the Netherlands, but the Kingdom of the Netherlands'.
I chose to use cacti, since they immediately feel non-dutch, combined with a tulip, the most iconic Dutch plant and icon, to visualise 'the Kingdom'.
Once I got that part nailed down I was looking for a way to incorporate and represent baseball in the artwork. I came up with the idea of a lightning bolt, a metaphor and visual representation for strength and power, which fits the game well. To top it all off I added a ball, placed in a way that it suggests an exclamation mark, to emphasize the sense of strength & power.

Rutger Paulusse

Like most stories, it all started back in the day. We all begin our artistic endeavors somewhere and that place for Rutger was the graffiti wall. No, Rutger was not your standard "tag the high school wall with a bad word" graffiti artist but rather a youth who realized the creative power that a spray can, paint brush or pen could hold. This obsession with graffiti quickly manifested itself into a natural transition to typography where he realized that type is his proverbial bread and butter.

Rutger soon found himself at the St. Joost Art School not only high fiving his way through life but gaining the conceptual design foundation that traditional art schools provide. But the basics were not enough for Rutger and he soon found out there was more to the world of design than textbook rules and professors opinions. After graduation he quickly realized that personal style and creativity were more important to a designers work than anything he "learned" in the classroom.

What does a young, innocent, Dutch boy do when he wants to up his game in the massive world of graphic design and type after an old school art education? Yup, you guessed it, he moves to NYC to get a taste of how the real design world operates. Ready to launch his career after years of practice, schooling and many projects, Rutger headed to NYC to work for the highly regarded Vault49 agency where he got his groove on improving his illustration and CGI skills while being humbled by the high level of talent around him.

By this time, Rutger had developed his playfully distinct style beyond type and fully entered into the world of illustration. He had broadened his skills in NYC and knew he had to bring his funky style back to the homies. The tempting low sky of Amsterdam was too much to ignore and Rutger landed back in his home country where he chills today cranking out colorful projects across many platforms.

His wild and always challenging ride has given Rutger a consistent flair to his work that he incorporates into every project. In recent years he's been lucky enough to rapidly expand his portfolio that would make his spectators, designers or not, all drool with feelings of euphoria. Don't take it from me, take it from his clients: BMW Group, TomTom, KLM, ING, Nuon, Ford, Flexa, Citroën, KPN, Tommy Hilfiger, Spinawards and ADCN to name a few.


Words by Adam Carlisle


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