Sibelius Academy Design & Branding HEAR HOW VISUAL IDENTITY LOOKS LIKE by 358 Helsinki

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Industry Education
Media Design & Branding
Market Finland
Agency 358 Helsinki
Art Director Leo Karhunen, Joel Parson
Producer Roosa Rudkiewicz
Released August 2011

Credits & Description

Category: Consumer Services
Agency: 358 HELSINKI
Copy Writer/Creative Director: Verneri Leimu (358 Helsinki)
Art Director: Leo Karhunen (358 Helsinki)
Art Director: Joel Parson (358 Helsinki)
Strategist: Milla Kokko (358 Helsinki)
Client Team Director: Panu Norlund (358 Helsinki)
Producer: Roosa Rudkiewicz (358 Helsinki)
Software Specialist: Pirkka Esko
API for analysing sound data: (The Echo Nest)
Media placement: Stationary - Sibelius Acedemy - 30.8.2011
Media placement: Publications template - Sibelius Acedemy - 30.8.2011
Media placement: Brochure - Sibelius Acedemy - 30.8.2011
Media placement: Clothing - Sibelius Acedemy - 30.8.2011
Media placement: Live visuals - Sibelius Acedemy halls - 30.8.2011
Media placement: Recruitment ads - Newspapers - 30.8.2011
Media placement: Pen - Sibelius Acedemy - 30.8.2011
Media placement: Car - Streets of Helsinki - 30.8.2011

Describe the brief from the client
To create a visual identity for the Sibelius Academy that reflects the heritage of the Finnish national composer, Jean Sibelius.

Describe the challenges and key objectives
The main challenge was to create a unique visual identity that stands apart from generic identities. We needed to find a new way of visualising music, and a new angle to Jean Sibelius’s heritage.
The key objectives were to respect the avant-garde tradition of the institution but still bring it to the present day and introduce a digital perspective into the prestigious music university. The Sibelius Academy should display elitism and quality in a positive, modern perspective.

Describe how you arrived at the final design
The obvious starting point was to think how music and sound would look like. Knowing that Jean Sibelius, who the university was named after, had a synaesthesia gave us an interesting starting point (a neurological symptom where the 'sufferer' see colours and forms when hearing music). We could have used our artistic freedom but we thought a far more interesting route was to exclude ourselves from the creators role and create a ‘brain’ that would emulate the mind of Jean Sibelius. We decided to create a piece of software that transforms music into visuals. We called it the ‘Synesthesiasizer’.

Give some indication of how successful the outcome was in the market
We created a vibrant, eye-catching identity that is constantly moving and reflecting its inspiration: music.
We managed to position Sibelius Academy among the elite and avoided the trap of just being youthful, or in time, just for the sake of it.
For an institution that creates most of its materials themselves, our solution provided a very simple tool that makes the in-house designer’s task easy but still inspires to create outstanding visuals work.