Nature is an artist! Inside AKQA’s design for mammoth Spotify and UN project, Sounds Right

Highlighting endangered species and amplifying the ecosystem with vibrant colourways, this project echoes the wonders of nature.

22 April 2024


AKQA and the Museum for the United Nations – UN Live have partnered on a project, Sounds Right, a global music initiative enabling nature to generate funding for conservation from its own sounds. Launched for Earth Day, it aims to highlight the impact of nature and encourage music fans to take action in protecting the planet. And as a part of the project, ‘Nature’ is now regarded as a artist on Spotify, boasting over 1,705,000 monthly listeners, top tracks or “timeless classics” such as Victoria Thunder, Queensland Rain Rhythm and Rain Sounds in Los Angeles, and a number of features on tracks performed by the likes of David Bowie and Brian Eno, Ellie Goulding and Aurora.

The release of the initiative at this time is paramount, given the fact that wildlife populations have greatly declined in the past 50 years. “Sounds Right looks to flip our extractive relationship with the natural world on its head while recognising nature’s contribution to the creative industries,” says the Museum for the United Nations - UN Live, in a press release. As such, Nature’s royalties and donations will go to Sounds Right and will be collected by EarthPercent, a UK and US-based charity before being “directed to biodiversity conservation and restoration projects in threatened ecosystems around the world”.


AKQA: Sounds Right (Copyright © AKQA / Sounds Right, 2024)

To complement the sounds from the ecosystem, AKQA has designed an identity for Sounds Right that reflects just that. Powerful visuals course the branding throughout, highlighting the importance of nature preservation. From endangered species, frogs which are currently facing habitat insecurity and the effects of pollution, bees due to the same, and fish who are largely impacted by global warming, overfishing and pollution also. The assets throughout the identity have been adapted into motion assets and presented with a tick to reflect the impact we can have when we (ahem) listen to nature. It includes a naturesque and earthy colour scheme of brown, greens, yellows and also pink, reflective of the powerful hue throughout coral reefs. Alongside storytelling that boosts nature as a valid contributor to the music.

Nicolai Smith, executive director at AKQA says: “From storytelling to designing the visual identity and launching the global campaign, Sounds Right is a project that we truly believe in. It has the power to do good for good. By continuously working with global artists to credit Nature in their music, everyone around the world can help fund nature conservation by simply doing what they already do everyday: listen to their favourite artists.”

GalleryAKQA: Sounds Right (Copyright © AKQA / Sounds Right, 2024)

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AKQA & Earthrise: Sounds Right (Copyright © AKQA & Earthrise / Sounds Right, 2024)

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About the Author

Yaya Azariah Clarke

Yaya (they/them) joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in June 2023 and became a staff writer in November of the same year. With a particular interest in Black visual culture, they have previously written for publications such as WePresent, alongside work as a researcher and facilitator for Barbican and Dulwich Picture Gallery.

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