As Songtrust has entered our tenth year, we’ve come to better understand and appreciate our core values and our mission. We’re thrilled to launch a new visual identity and brand system that better reflects these values, and Songtrust’s position in the music industry as the largest accessible publishing administration service in the world.
We worked with the design agency Order on our new look, and in preparation, they interviewed current Songtrust clients, employees, and other music business professionals to get a strong sense of who we are and where we sit in our industry. They quickly understood how important coherence and community is to what we do, saying about the new design system:
“There’s a contemporary and ever-changing nature to what’s popular in music and that can make it a challenging thing to design for. But with this identity, our aim was to strip a lot of that away to distill it down to the simplest expression. Ultimately this allows the brand to change and evolve while maintaining a strong sense of identity. Our hope is that it becomes something the community can embrace and see themselves in. So, what’s really most exciting to us about the brand is where it will go from here."
This bolder, simpler style with more graphical elements serves our core values of education, accessibility, and transparency - by ensuring that as many people as possible can easily see, access, and understand our materials. This look also expresses Songtrust’s confidence in the excellence of our work, and better represents our position within our space.
Further, each primary element of our new design system reflects Songtrust’s values and our mission.
Our new logo, the letter “S,” formed by horizontally-oriented musical notes, captures the spirit of Songtrust’s work, because we support music creators of all types. We don’t just serve songwriters or performing artists from specific genres, but producers, beatmakers, topliners, instrumentalists, and everyone who has a songwriting share from their role in the song creation process - whether that’s done online via music-creation platforms or video chat, over the phone, on the road during soundcheck, or in the studio. And our service is built for music creators at any stage of their career.
Our new visual system incorporates more bright colors. Not only does this harmonious use of many bold colors act as a metaphor for the diverse clients we serve, the dozens of countries where we’re active, and the myriad disparate elements of our work, it also makes our materials more inviting and more engaging. As Order puts it, “the palette is designed to be both cohesive and complementary, while still capturing the eclectic culture of Songtrust.”
We’re using a bold new sans-serif font that we chose for two key reasons: first, it’s easier to see and to read on screens and in print, contributing to our accessibility goals. Second, the strength of the “Songtrust” wordmark and all our typography evokes the confidence and the assurance with which we describe our work and make our offer. As part of our visual identity, the typography is utilitarian but with some personality - like the work we do, it’s functional and efficient, but serves a greater creative purpose.
We’re incorporating more photography within our website and materials, in order to keep the focus on the human element, the music creators we serve - whether they’re Songtrust clients themselves or whether they work with businesses or reps who we power with world-class global publishing administration. We strive for photo subjects who reflect the diversity of our client base across country, race, gender, age, and genre.
We were lucky to work with Brooklyn photographer Ebru Yildiz, who is tremendously adept at capturing her subjects’ most expressive and human moments, on this project. We shot some of our photos, those focused on music creation, in Studio G, which is owned and operated by multi-GRAMMY-nominated producer and engineer Joel Hamilton, himself a Songtrust client. The portrait-style photos were shot at Yildiz’s own Brooklyn Grain. Our models are all, themselves, musicians and other creators from our local NYC community. We have also incorporated live photos by Ellen Qbertplaya and Kevin Wilson, both able to capture the energy of those most magical moments unique to live music.
For more about our new brand identity and how it reflects who we are, who we serve, and our values, watch this video featuring Songtrust President Molly Neuman.
After months of hard work (and maybe some blood, sweat, and tears) we’re thrilled to be launching Songtrust’s next chapter. And of course, to continue providing the services and educational materials that empower music creators everywhere and enable them to keep making the music that motivates and inspires all of us.