Now, a lot of the world has switched to streaming, the thought of listening to a radio station feels old school. However native radio stays the one huge exception, and it is one that actually got here into its personal through the Pandemic period.
For San Francisco’s Bay Space, that particular native station is KALW. With their eightieth birthday approaching, COLLINS
– the model expertise design firm primarily based in New York and San Francisco – was challenged with creating a brand new identification that will serve them for the subsequent 80 years.
It was a venture near everybody’s coronary heart, explains designer Barney Stepney. “COLLINS has had an workplace in San Francisco for a number of years now,” he says. “It is a metropolis we love and owe an unimaginable quantity to, so we intention to work to assist our group as a lot as we will.”
In 2016, for instance, they started their work with the native science museum The Exploratorium, and since 2019 they’ve had a partnership with the San Francisco Symphony orchestra.
“Largely, San Francisco’s vibrancy and perpetual sense of chance are as a result of its many music and cultural scenes,” says Barney. “KALW is a important voice for these areas, and so they additionally occur to be one of the pioneering radio stations within the US. So for us, it was a singular alternative.”
And music is in COLLINS’ DNA, he provides. “We have labored with Spotify, Warner Music, SF Symphony and Bose, too, and so the inner effectively of language and expertise in crafting design options for musical or music-adjacent organisations is deep right here. With KALW, we had a particular probability to additional that have by working with a station that was such a Bay Space fixture.”
COLLINS’ staff delved into KALW’s historical past to create a visible identification system that instantly displays its uniqueness and showcases its connection to the Bay Space.
“In our analysis, we got here throughout a emblem that KALW used within the late 70s,” says Barney. “It was unusual, made out of stencil lettering, with bizarre shapes and dimensions that have been fully inconsistent with one another. In its rigidity of kind, we immediately recognised the brand was additionally inconsistent with the fluid, flamboyant, hippie fashion of artwork and design in San Francisco within the Seventies. In that weirdness, although, we discovered stunning character, memorability and tons of vitality.”
They have been all enthused by the thought of utilizing a stencil for the brand new identification, he continues. “There is a blunt, utilitarian facet to a stencil that anybody can perceive. Additionally it is consultant of constructing blocks coming collectively to kind a complete, and a group, which is precisely what KALW has efficiently achieved during the last 80 years. A daring voice travels far.
“We needed to create a emblem that will be as distinctive and highly effective as KALW’s voice itself and expresses the colourful future they proceed to construct with the Bay Space group. We needed the brand to behave as the principle supply of images in KALW’s communications. This places the model identification entrance and centre.”
The remainder of the model system, together with the colors, was impressed by each the simplicity of jazz and classical live performance posters from the Fifties and ’60s and Disney movies comparable to Fantasia 2000’s George Gershwin’s musical composition Rhapsody in Blue.
“These intense color pairings have been memorable and delivered life and vitality in brief, vibrant bursts,” says Barney. “We needed to do one thing comparable for the KALW model, so we employed color pairings that vibrate and really feel unfamiliar.
“The result’s a vibrant and daring identification, together with a brand new emblem impressed by letterforms of jazz and classical live performance posters from the 50s and 60s, that may develop with the station as they proceed to reimagine and redefine native radio.”