Elevating the Atlanta Symphony Brand

An Animated Logo That Hits All The Right Notes

One of my favorite projects last year was for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. What they needed was a unique animated logo that could perform a variety of jobs for their brand.

In addition to adding the ASO brand to their online videos, the logo animation would also be used as a set-up and transition between videos played before performances at Symphony Hall and sometimes run on a loop as a background on screen. Basically, the logo needed to be an all-purpose video bumper.

As a certain one of our beleaguered animators can confirm, no detail was too insignificant to obsess over because getting all the small moments right elevates the entire result. Afterall, the ASO is one of the nation’s largest orchestras — they deserve an equally big brand experience.

A moving logo that captures the motion of music

We started with the inspiration behind the ASO’s logo. Their mark calls two familiar images to mind: the curve of the bass clef and the sweep of the conductor’s baton. The music and the motion.

Immediately we knew the logo had to float. It should glide and swell like music. Every moving part you see is a different view of the logo, so that the audience is immersed in the image just as they’re enveloped in the music when sitting in symphony hall.

An overture of sound to create anticipation

There’s an assumption that animation is primarily a visual experience; but equally important is in the soundtrack.

Few sounds evoke time and place as completely as the sustained A on the oboe. You hear it, and you know what’s coming. There’s a sense of anticipation for the audience as the A is picked up and repeated by every other instrument, until the full orchestra is tuned and ready.

That familiar moment provides the perfect underscore as graphical elements of the symphony’s brand sweep, glide and gently resolve into the ASO logo .

Considering other possibilities

Of course, we created several options. A close contender was a version that was crisp and poppy. A little bolder. A little louder. In the end, we all realized it was a great look for a campaign, but the ASO wanted a brand. A good campaign seizes the moment. Good branding stands the test of time.

So that’s what we gave them, something elegant and timeless. Familiar yet evocative. Five seconds that set expectations for the entire performance. Simple. But just right.

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