Can branding be encapsulated in a font?

This has been on my mind for the last several days, as a recent article by Fast Company seems like an encouraging foray into the business of classical music, but offers an awfully narrow scope of reporting within the piece. Check out Feb 10’s “Can branding save classical music?”, which we first encountered through this post from the LA Master Chorale:

(If you’re not following LAMC on LinkedIn yet, consider it: they’ve been posting some very intriguing items for those interested in the way business works in the arts.)

This post is from about a week ago, and the fact that FastCompany is deigning to cover classical music is interesting. The article, which does smack of being a puff piece for the branding agency that created the above, focuses on San Francisco Symphony. But as you can see from those who are following the story and upending their own look and feel across the web and social media, LAMC and other orgs are also attempting various branding experiments, and results have been varied, which is to be expected.

This is no flash-in-the-pan trend: with the speed of digital marketing applying pressure to everybody’s doings, all kinds of organizations are considering and adopting rehash plans at regular intervals, and the ingenuity and spirit of experimentation is often fun to watch — it can even be inspiring. But the branding “thing” is definitely something you should be watching in the orgs around you, and keeping an eye on in your own marketing. If you haven’t read the article yet, take a look, as the overall issue affects everyone in classical.

You may or may not agree with SFS’s new take on how to talk to (at?) people about classical, and this exploration of “branding” is indeed narrow, focused mostly on flashy design rather than message. But the resulting marketing pieces are undeniably cool, eyecatching and sure to attract attention. I’d love to hear where you stand.

Personally, I find the concepts of both the “singing font” and the “Symphosizer” tool fascinating. I’d love to see what other people can do with innovative visuals like this… (Hint, hint!)

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