DixonBaxi’s rebrand for music venue Koko bottles the anticipation of waiting for a show with a logo that counts down
With a logo representing both a beacon and a ticking clock, DixonBaxi rings in a new era for the venue, reopening after a £70 million restoration.
- Liz Gorny
- 10 May 2022
Koko has undergone a major makeover this year – in more ways than one. In April, the famous independent Camden music venue opened its doors – with Arcade Fire, no less – after a three-year closure which featured challenges of “a biblical nature”, including “a blazing fire, colossal water damage and a global pandemic”, says a release from the venue. Koko 2.0 comprises a 50,000-square-foot venue with a 360-degree stage, from which artists can broadcast music to fans everywhere, directly. It also consists of a fresh look, having called on DixonBaxi to usher the venue into a new era. Not one to do things in half measures, the design consultancy responded with a rebrand that ticks, that flashes, and ripples red – mirroring the venue’s notorious red interior.
For a brand that has to represent both the major acts and emerging artists gracing the Koko stage week in and out, the identity needed to tap into a visual applicable to all artists. DixonBaxi went one step further and landed on visualising a universal feeling instead. “At the heart of the system is the concept’ Countdown to Live’,” explains a release from the consultancy, “the idea of bottling the anticipation, energy, experience and thrill unique to live events, and Koko’s ability to beam those qualities across the globe through streamed performances, podcasts, back-stage moments and more.”
The new Koko logo takes a K and O from the venue’s name and fashions them into a ticking clock of sorts, beaming out red flashes as it counts down – a nod to its broadcasting abilities. Leaning into the “unbridled passion, camaraderie” associated with the live music experience, the logo evokes a recognisable sensation for most: suspense. Whether waiting in line at a venue willing the queue to go faster or waiting for the lights to finally dim, the anticipation and “energy of live crowds” are represented in the design via rippling red energy waves.
Faced with cutting through a noisy visual groundwork, the new Koko typeface, Wallop, is a clean sans serif. Chosen by DixonBaxi for its pared back nature, the design consultancy wanted something that could both “transcend genre” and feel “timeless”. Elsewhere, logos have been created for Koko’s sub-brands, each one representing a different experience inside the venue – such as Koko Shop and Koko Radio – while reflecting the unique character of each sub-brand typographically.
Looking back at the project, the design consultancy explains that the most integral part of the project was “preserving the feeling of live concerts”. “Every element of the brand is designed to feel live”, the consultancy continues. Considering DixonBaxi’s vibrating, energetic design, we can certainly confirm that the work ticks this box.
GalleryDixonBaxi: Koko (Copyright © Koko, 2022)
DixonBaxi: Koko (Copyright © Koko, 2022)
About the Author
Liz (she/they) joined It’s Nice That as news writer in December 2021. After graduating in Film from The University of Bristol, she worked freelance, writing for independent publications such as Little White Lies, INDIE magazine and design studio Evermade.