The award (a crystal prism, pictured) was presented last week to HEMA CEO Ronald van Zetten during the Color Fair at the Amsterdam Beurs van Berlage (Berlage Stock Exchange).
The prestigious honor is handed out every year by the Sikkens Foundation to an artist or organization which uses color in a characteristic, creative or original way within their own particular field.
The Foundation—which was set up by Akzo Nobel's Coatings group—decided to award the latest prize to the Dutch retailer because of its “consistent attention to color and design.”
According to the jury, ever since its foundation in 1926, HEMA has always given a high priority to design and color. Since the end of the 1990s, the retailer has also been conducting a major restyling of its stores and products.
The company drew additional praise because it had never abandoned an almost 80-year-old tradition of primary color usage and good design.
First awarded to the Dutch architect and designer Gerrit Rietveld in 1959, previous winners of the Sikkens Prize have come from various artistic backgrounds and include the Italian film director Ettore Scola and the Irish poet and Nobel Prize winner Seamus Heaney.
One of Akzo Nobel's leading international coatings brands, Sikkens produces paint systems for the decorative coatings, car refinishes and yacht markets.
(Released: February 15, 2005)