Output rebrands Playlister to celebrate the humans, not the algorithms, behind its music curation

From the typography and colour palette to the custom set of patterns and textures, the identity is designed to distance itself from its tech brand counterparts.

14 July 2020
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2 minute read


Playlister works with hospitality and fashion brands like Chateau Marmont and The Standard Hotel Group to “craft audio identities” and curate music for its spaces and events. But in a world where algorithms predict and guide our listening behaviours, it was important for the company to clarify that its human team can do better than a robot. So Studio Output’s rebrand has aimed to channel that humanity through its graphics, typography and colour palette, going for a “hand-crafted approach,” says founder Rob Coke.

“Playlister is a team of obsessive music collectors and expert selectors,” Coke explains, who curate libraries of fully licensed music unique to each client through in-depth consultation and research. “But this human approach wasn’t reflected in an identity which felt more aligned to a tech platform, so we evolved the brand to stand apart from the algorithm-dominated sector.”

The new brand toolkit sees a “clarified” version of the previous logo mark, now in lower case at a consistent size, level and colour, using the simple device of a ‘play’ arrow as the ‘a’ in the brand name. The new colour palette is described as “understated,” conveying a sophisticated and ambient atmosphere, which the serif typography complements aptly. It also comprises a set of custom patterns and textures, which the brand can adapt to communicate different genres, moods and styles according to its client’s audio identity and individual projects. “This allows each execution to feel unique,” Coke says, “while being held together by a consistent brand framework,” – hence giving the identity a tailored effect and reflecting Playlister’s service.

A key graphic device in the identity is the ‘playbar’ – a simple rectangle that appears in various colours, patterns and orientations, spanning multiple images, tying layers together and implying movement and versatility. Coke adds that Playlister provides “a layered experience that considers time of day, then adapts and evolves each month. The playbar device reflects this continuous approach, anchoring images and typography, or breaking free to float gracefully through the frame”.

Back in February, Studio Output rebranded music streaming platform Mixcloud, animating the ‘i’ of its name to bring sound to life in wiggles, stretches and undulations.

GalleryStudio Output: Playlister identity

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About the Author

Jenny Brewer

Jenny joined the editorial team as It’s Nice That’s first news editor in April 2016. Having studied 3D Design, she has spent the last ten years working in design journalism. Contact her with news stories relating to the creative industries on news@itsnicethat.com.

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