Mixcloud, which hosts around 50 million handcrafted radio shows, DJ mixes and podcasts spanning pretty much every genre and subject, launched the new look to align with the announcement of its mission for the next decade: "to get more fans directly supporting the creators and cultures they care about," while making sure that artists and produced are paid fairly, it says.
Studio Output was briefed to create a visual identity to reflect this mission while inspiring its existing and new users to see the potential of the platform in the future. The agency says that the new identity is built upon three core character traits: Brave, Empathetic and Connector.
The designs are based around the idea of a "connector" to reflect the fluidity of the platform and its potential for engagement with users and content creators. The connector form "reflects the fluidity of cultures and countercultures, while its purpose is to unite," says Studio Output creative director Johanna Drewe. "It amplifies communities online and offline, constantly restless and moving through imagery, connecting genres and topics and experiences."
The idea of fluidity also inspires the new bespoke Mixcloud typography. "Its role is both emotive and practical," says Studio Output. "With a mass of user-generated imagery, a customisable font pulls everything together with a sense of ownership." The typeface's ligatures were explicitly designed to be able to join pairs of characters and "become much more playful to show the brand's exuberance," the studio adds.
The former blue and white colour scheme has undergone a huge shift; with the brand now boasting a vibrant colour scheme that deliberately has clashing tones to reflect the array of content Mixcloud promotes. "Many shouldn't work, but they do because each one has been carefully selected to harmonise with two others," says Studio Output.
The impetus behind the redesign comes off the back of Mixcloud's longstanding prioritisation of paying artists, songwriters and rights-holders royalties from DJ mixes and radio shows through licensing deals with major music labels; and in December 2018 Mixcloud launched Select, a direct fan-to-creator membership model.
"We started Mixcloud to solve a simple problem: to help DJs, radio stations, festivals and labels connect with listeners, fairly and legally. A decade on, we believe streaming platforms can do much more to help creators make a living from their work," says Nico Perez, co-founder at Mixcloud.
"We're heading into 2020 with a refreshed brand and a refined mission: to supercharge the relationship between audio creators and their biggest fans, so that they can keep creating, distributing and amplifying their art sustainably...With this major step change for us as a company, it's perfect timing for us to move on from our cloud logo. We're excited to introduce our community to an entirely new brand that better represents the passion and vibrancy they bring to the platform every day."
The new brand is introduced today across Mixcloud's apps, website and social media channels, and will be rolled out across the product experience this year.