The pilgrimage site of Scherpenheuvel asked us to help them create a new visual identity that properly represented the site. Through a series of workshops with the involved parties, and of course first hand research at Scherpenheuvel, we were able to home in on the core values of the Scherpenheuvel “brand.” Once the brand identity was laid down, we had the right ingredients to create a communication plan as well as a new look and feel.

The core value:
a soothing encounter with Mary

Through the centuries, pilgrims have travelled to Scherpenheuvel to burn a candle in front of the statue of Mary. This meeting with Mary, which is so sincere and warm, is what we wanted to bring forward in the design.

Mother Mary is a strong brand. Within the logo you can find many symbols which are characteristic of the pilgrimage sit of Scherpenheuvel:

  • The miraculous image of Mary and her child
  • Seven circles, which refer to both the seven pointed star and also the layout of the basilica
  • Blue, the color of Mary

4 Communication categories

Communication is an important theme. How do we bring the message across today? How do we translate Mary’s message to the people? Pilgrims come from all over the world for different reasons and speaking different languages. Therefore, it is important that what we say reflects the experiences that the pilgrims are having.

To help us create a clean and simple message we split up the communication into 4 categories:

  • “Welcome to Mary” is used at the reception
  • “Mary inspires” refers to the testimonies of the visitors
  • “The rich tradition of Mary” refers to the cultural heritage
  • “Mary gives meaning” contains the reflection, or spiritual aspect


Each communication category asks for its own look within the new house style. The logo is the flagship of the brand. To emphasize this, we decided to link this to the "Welcome to Mary" category. For the other categories, we use variations on this theme. Each with their own baseline, symbol, and color code. The candle for inspiration, the basilica for tradition, and writing for meaning.

We light a candle

For the design of the new candle chapels, we wanted to lay the focus on the user experience. By on site observation, interviewing, and role playing we were able to get down to the most important working points. Members of the church council even went through the experience in a wheelchair in order to gain new insights into the needs of the users.

The result of this project was a new ground plan where the candle chapels function as service points. This enables the distribution of candles to flow more efficiently.

The novena candles also received an updated design. The graphic design was inspired by stained glass windows. The resulting design stays classic but with a remarkably fresh and contemporary feel.