Sounds of Stockholm: the Swedish studio building musical brands

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Published:  January 7, 2015
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Design in the music industry spans so much more than album covers and gig posters. With the introduction of digital downloads and highly-crafted festival experiences, nearly every sensory touch-point needs to reiterate a musician’s brand. It is here that Stockholm-based studio Ritator have an impressive collection of local projects, with a particular passion for the performing and visual arts.

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Melodica identity

Ritator were keen to create graphics that represented “electronic music’s relationship to computers.” Working with London based DJ and producer Chris Coco, who describes his project Melodica as, “A micro brand. It’s a radio show that has now become a record label […] presenting new, young acts working in the area of electronic music.”

The digital artworks were created with ‘generative art’ principles, a technique that allows already existing photographs, or images created in Photoshop, to be inserted into a computer programme that generates new images automatically. Melodica’s new graphic identity is set to be rolled out across all online platforms.

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Sound of Stockholm identity

Ritator designed a graphic identity for the yearly electronic music festival ‘Sound of Stockholm’ consisting of a logotype, palette and typeface used across posters and a magazine.

“The design is deliberately aiming to break away from the graphics generally associated with contemporary electronic music, such as squares and pixelated letters.” Ritator looked at graphics used on psychedelic album covers in the 1960s, but reduced it to something much more minimal. Here, the “distinctively contrasting colours work as a reference to the wide gamut in electronica,” — in hope of binding the wide spectrum of styles in an aesthetically pleasing manner.

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More Than Sound identity

The exhibition ‘More Than Sound’ held at Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm, investigated how nine contemporary artists employ music and sound in their work. Commissioned to create a brand identity for an exhibition on immaterial art, Ritator were required to “invent new graphic forms”.

Together with illustrator Stina Löfgren, the studio visualised the participating artists’ sound-based work. “The illustrations refer to how music is a combination of entities that create an overall soundscape.” Forming the basis for the graphic identity of the show, the illustrations were incorporated in the production of a magazine, as well as environmental and print advertisements, exhibition graphics, PR material, and merchandise such as a t-shirt and tote bag.

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