Studio Output has designed an all-new brand identity for Mixcloud, a leading streaming platform used by tens of millions of creators and listeners worldwide, to mark its 10th anniversary.
Mixcloud is home to a unique catalog of 50 million handcrafted radio shows, DJ mixes and podcasts that span every genre, taste and scene. It led the way in paying artists, songwriters and rights-holders royalties from DJ mixes and radio shows. In December 2018, following announcements about unique licensing deals with all the major labels, Mixcloud launched Select, a direct fan-to-creator membership model.
"We started Mixcloud to solve a simple problem: to help DJs, radio stations, festivals and labels connect with listeners, fairly and legally," said Nico Perez, Co-founder at Mixcloud. "A decade on, we believe streaming platforms can do much more to help creators make a living from their work. We're heading into 2020 with a refreshed brand and a refined mission: to supercharge the relationship between audio creators and their biggest fans, so that they can keep creating, distributing and amplifying their art sustainably."
Mixcloud tasked the team at Studio Output with creating a visual identity that would not only reflect this mission but also inspire the creators and fans with the potential of its new model. Mixcloud needed a brand identity to propel it through its second decade.
"Platforms like Patreon, Twitch and Kickstarter have paved the way for a creator-centric, fan-funded approach to online culture," added Nikhil Shah, Co-founder at Mixcloud. "We've taken a major step in their direction, and away from the algorithm-heavy streaming services."
The resulting brand identity is built upon three core character traits: Brave, Empathetic and Connector. "At the heart of the brand is 'the connector,'" explained Johanna Drewe, Creative Director at Studio Output. "Its form reflects the fluidity of cultures and countercultures, whilst its purpose is to unite. It amplifies communities online and offline, constantly restless and moving through imagery, connecting genres and topics and experiences."
This fluid movement runs through the typography - a bespoke typeface for Mixcloud. Its role is both emotive and practical. With a mass of user-generated imagery, a customizable font pulls everything together with a sense of ownership. Ligatures can join pairs of characters or become much more playful to show the brand's exuberance.
A vibrant color scheme marks a radical departure from the previous blue and white. In the spirit of brave connections and culture clash, it throws up some unexpected pairings. Many shouldn't work, but they do because each one has been carefully selected to harmonize with two others.
"With this visual identity we aimed to surface the passion of Mixcloud and its community," Drewe added. "It will ensure that the brand continues to serve the audio creators of today, with a firm eye on those of tomorrow."