Voorwaarts Mars (‘Forward March’)


... offers literally a different view on a marching band. Winner ArtEZ Academy Prize 2014 Zwolle.

▶︎ ▶︎  From concept to reality: Mission to ‘Voorwaarts Mars’.

▶︎ ▶︎  How it started.

Mission to ‘Voorwaarts Mars’


From concept to reality. A look behind the scenes. With marching and showband Adest Musica and designer Ruben Stellingwerf. View the entire team of the video production here.




Is your company, institute, exhibition space or exhibition organisation interested in ‘Voorwaarts Mars’? Contact: voorwaartsmars@rubenst.nl

‘Voorwaarts Mars’ has been shown at:


Dutch Design Week 2017 Eindhoven,
National Tattoo Ahoy Rotterdam,
GRID graphic museum Groningen,
Kunstencentrum K38 Roden,
ArtEZ Finals 2014 Zwolle.
And other venues

Presentations and Lectures


How did Forward March originate? What is the added value of this project? And what role can design play? Ruben regularly gives presentations about his designs and ‘Voorwaarts Mars’ to organizations, companies or during meetings and symposiums.


Are you interested? Mail to: voorwaartsmars@rubenst.nl


March for sale!

▶︎ Postcards

▶︎ Publication

How it started...


Everyone knows about the marching bands that march through the streets of villages and towns on festive occasions. The Netherlands has a rich history with regard to marching bands and the Dutch bands are among the best marching and showbands in the world.


Unfortunately the marching bands have a rather dowdy image. As a starting point for his graduation project, designer Ruben Stellingwerf wanted to change this. How can we make people look at this tradition in a different way? This resulted in the alphabet: ‘Forward March’. Characters designed on the basis of the walking movements of Dutch marching bands. This project was awarded the ArtEZ Academy Prize 2014.



With professional passion, Ruben has plunged into a completely original and engaged design adventure. He emerged with a strong and convincing concept, which he visualized in a joyous all-round way. '

Jury ArtEZ Academy Prize Zwolle 2014.



After graduation the project was continued in the form of exhibitions and presentations throughout the Netherlands. In 2017 the concept was lifted to the next level. Marching and showband Adest Musica was prepared to actually march the characters. The projection floor with an aerial view of the marching band was first shown during the Dutch Design Week 2017 in Eindhoven.


Videoproduction team



Ruben Stellingwerf


Ruben Stellingwerf is a graphic designer and art director. In 2014 he graduated with distinction from ArtEZ University of the Arts in Zwolle and he won the ArtEZ Academy Prize 2014 with ‘Voorwaarts Mars’. Since then he has been working from his studio as ‘Rubenst’. In addition to his personal projects he designs in commission: visual identities, books, editorials and campaigns. In 2017 Ruben was selected for Driving Dutch Design.

Marching and showband

Adest Musica


Marching and showband Adest Musica from Sassenheim (The Netherlands) belongs to the national and international top of music bands. The band twice won gold with distinction during the World Music Contest in July 2017. Every year the musicians perform at home and abroad. Adest Musica leaves a profound  impression through their high level of musicality combined with the tight exercise of movements.


Joey van Kesteren


Drum major

Sander Bakker


Camera en video

Gilles van Leeuwen


Drone pilot

Michiel Rote



Menno van den Berg en Frank Ikink


Niels Jansen


Production assistant 

Marjolein Bartels



Heemskerk Meskers, Lisse


Assistance on location

Wim van Vliet

Marco van der Borg

Caroline van der Borg



The ‘Forward Mars’ video production was partly realized with a successful crowdfunding campaign  on Voordekunst: the online platform for crowdfunding in the field of culture and art. Special thanks to:


Bank Giro loterij Fonds VSBfonds


Gerben Bartels Wim van Vliet Piet Stellingwerf Annie Stellingwerf Marjolein Bartels ArtEZ Zwolle Allard Naber Peter Bartels Andre Brocatus Cary Bartels Jelle Mulder Ruud Willems Fons Janssen Dennis Koning Lonneke Stellingwerf Hans Kastermans Gerda Kastermans Charlotte van Teunenbroek Maik Verheijen Laura Bartels Roy van Dorssen Marjet de Leeuw Johan Duinkerken Mark te Grotenhuis Peter Reijngoud Hennie Bosscha Erik Crins Arthur Reinders Folmer Egbert Oenema Tove Elfferich Rosanne Tegels Justine Kontou Isabel Quiroga Adam Oostenbrink Anne Boer Laura Campschreur Lammert Beukema Hans Teunissen Liane de Bruijn Erwin van Gool Wilrien Heuvelink Jeroen Mennema Lotte de Jong Astrid de Craen- van der Hulst Matthew van Ede van der Pals Gilles van Leeuwen Kees Peperkamp Jenny Hof


Mission to ‘Voorwaarts Mars’


From concept to reality. A look behind the scenes. With marching and showband Adest Musica and designer Ruben Stellingwerf. View the entire team of the video production here.