In a city that’s overflowing with contemporary culture, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra is battling for relevance with younger audiences, who aren’t formally introduced to the classical artform in the way their parents and grandparents were. This leaves the Orchestra reliant upon a devoted yet aging community of supporters that can’t sustain the company forever.
We had to convince a new generation to experience the power of live classical music. We were also required to cast classical music in a totally fresh, modern and welcoming way.
To uncover fresh creative territory, we asked the SSO’s patrons to describe the feelings that classical music evokes in them. And got young music enthusiasts who hadn’t previously experienced live classical music to give it a try. Both lifelong converts and newcomers agreed the music, experienced at ‘full tilt’, evokes visceral feelings and emotions. This led to the brand idea ‘Feel More’ – an invitation to everyone to access the incomparable emotional power of symphony music, experienced live.
The new identity system was designed to be unapologetically loud and bursting with energy. We created the kinetic type treatment based upon an insight from one of the violinists, who explained that the sound waves The orchestra creates when playing in unison literally vibrates through one’s body. We had found the perfect visual metaphor to build the new identity system around.
The identity was launched to coincide with the arrival of Simone Young, the orchestra’s new Principal Conductor. Post-pandemic, the SSO’s devoted subscribers are back. Website and social traffic is scaling fast, as the company invests greater effort in digital audience engagement—supported by the musicians who now participate enthusiastically.
The relaxed identity complements the SSO’s efforts to create fresh programming such as an Archie Roach tribute, a showcase of Max Richter scores and joint performances with contemporary artists like Birds of Tokyo, Ben Folds, William Barton, and Belvoir Theatre. In recent months the SSO has returned to the refurbished Sydney Opera House and is playing to full houses, another promising sign of brand renewal.