The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra wanted to better convey the emotion and excitement of live orchestral music; particularly to new audiences.

Brand identity and campaigns

Our first project was an update of the CBSO's rather formal visual identity.

We refined the logo (retaining the well-known 'splat' icon), and developed a bright colour palette. A simple hierarchical typographic system with an emphasis on legibility keeps important information incredibly clear. These elements combine to create a welcoming, energetic and fun look. (And a look that's easy for the orchestra's Publications Manager to implement across various promotional collateral.)

The illustrated instruments add a splash of colour, and from any distance, people undestand immediately this is all about music. Used since 2015, they change a little every season but remain consistent enough to be distinctively 'CBSO'.

Headline copy for season campaigns includes Music is big in Birmingham. Originally written for the 2016-17 season it was so successful it's been used for every season ever since. It's now part of the CBSO brand.

CBSO's tagline, 'Music is big in Birmingham' and brochure covers from Autumn 2015 to Summer 2016 with illustrated instruments
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra 2015-16 season brochure cover and spread
Train and planter teaser ads for the CBSO's 2017-18 season

Website

Working with each department of the organisation, we designed a website that’s easy to use – both for audiences and the CBSO team.

An intuitive content management system allows pages to be made and edited quickly. And nifty modular 'blocks' mean layouts can be designed to suit content without the constraints of set templates.

This flexibility and freedom makes it easy to create super-targeted messaging for specific audiences – whether family-friendly concerts or corporate donor campaigns. It’s not just power-users in Marketing adding content to the website; it’s a cross-departmental tool.

We also incorporated smart time-saving tools into the CMS. Most notably, it ‘talks’ to the website of CBSO’s home venue, Symphony Hall Birmingham, and integrates with their Spektrix ticketing system.

So, what had been an onerous task of adding concert listings to two different websites is now done just once – giving the CBSO team more time to develop campaigns, create content, and welcome new fans to live orchestral music.

CBSO website

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra website on desktop, tablet and mobile – plus the CBSO logo

Supercool’s approach is always considered and thoughtful, taking into account the needs of both the organisation and our audiences. I’m delighted with the results.

Abby Corfan – Director of Marketing and Digital

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