Branding a Music Genre

Boston Art Song Society

An Idea is Born — In early 2015, my wife and her friend founded a non-profit organization dedicated to performing art songs. Their mission was to bring art song to Boston by promoting collaboration between pianist and singer through the celebration of language and culture and building of community. Considering my proximity to the Boston Art Song Society, I became involved in the branding process.

Defining the Brand — Susanna and Stephanie wanted to represent their organization with a logo that was timeless, classic, and musical. We spent a few hours reviewing logos that they liked. I asked them to explain why they think those logos are successful and why they might not be successful.

Visualizing Art Song — In order to create a timeless, classical and musical brand, I started with some script and handwritten styles and took inspiration from early 20th century typography. We realized these styles didn’t quite represent the brand. After an unsuccessful first past, I began to study art song and decided to represent the interaction of the piano, pianist and singer during an art song performance. Susanna and Stephanie loved this idea because it represented art song in a simple and meaningful way; not to mention, it looked like a B. 😉

Rules and Colors — After arriving on the logo we spent some time reviewing typefaces and colors. We decided on a clean aesthetic choice of using Brandon Grotesque for their website, a typeface included with Squarespace, and Mission Gothic for all other materials. We played with a purple color that could represent the more timeless and classical aspects of the brand but it felt off. We finally arrived on Boston Art Song Jasper. A vibrant red that is timeless and classical but still instills the liveliness of music.

Grande Finale — Designing for a non-profit creates monetary constraints. I did the work pro-bono and used what resources we could to acquire the appropriate assets. The initial deliverables were the logo in black, white and jasper, business cards and a website. The majority of their budget went into a basic Squarespace account and theme, with Brandon Grotesque, and some custom theming. The rest went into business cards.

Although the constraints made the project small, the value of being creative with type pairing and customization of Squarespace theming with colors, default typefaces and royalty free stock photos was far more. Boston Art Song garnered a following of people throughout Boston and were successfully able to market their events for the past 3 seasons. Each year has seen continued attendance, increased engagement on facebook and instagram, and collaborations with world renowned organizations.

Date: 2015
Company: Boston Art Song Society
Project: Brand and Identity Design
Role: Designer

Team: Seoyon MacDonald (Co-founder), Stephanie Scogna (Co-founder)