Pentagram partner Emily Oberman has been tasked with giving one of the world’s biggest music publishing companies a new identity.
Warner Chappel Music boasts the likes of Kacey Musgraves, Kendrick Lamar and Rihanna as clients. Oh, and Led Zeppelin, Beyonce and Radiohead are amongst the other heavy-hitters on the roster. In total, they represent the work around 70,000 composers and songwriters.
The biggest move Emily and her team – including senior designer Mira Khandpur and associate Todd Goldstein – made was obliterating the ‘/’ which had been part of the group’s name since Warner Brothers bought Chappell, one of the founding fathers of what we now think of as music publishing, back in the late 1980s.
Combining a “regal ‘crown’ monogram with the flourish of human handwriting,” the new logo seeks to pay homage to “a moment of creative inspiration and to the highly individual, personal art of songwriting.”
Speaking exclusively to It’s Nice That, Emily explains that the decision to reboot the brand’s identity was the timely result of a few converging factors.
“Warner Chappell wanted to modernise their identity to mark the beginning of a new era for them. They recently announced there would be new leadership that would be co-chair & CEO Guy Moot and co-chair and COO Carianne Marshall. Plus they moved into a new amazing building in downtown LA’s art district.”
Looping back to that shiny new crown, Emily tells us that her team wanted to “convey the idea the Warner Chappell’s songwriters are the best of the best – songwriting royalty, if you will.”
If you’ve ever pondered who Emily Oberman would plump for if forced to pick her favourite songwriter ever, you’re in luck. The answer is the man responsible for classics like Begine the Beguine, I Get a Kick Out of You, and Night and Day, the one and only Cole Porter.
“He’s the tops,” she tells us. Other contenders included Elvis Costello, Prince, Joni Mitchell, David Byrne, Carole King, Buddy Holly, and Dolly Parton, but in the end, Cole came out on top.
" I truly had to name one, it would be Cole Porter. I grew up listening to his music. The songs are great to sing, they are funny and smart and fill me with joy – even when they are a little sad," Emily says.