Cutting through classical
Creative Review, July 2013

Sinfini Music is a new online platform to help users explore classical music. Producer Laura Newman-Cardwell spoke to Creative Review about how we worked with Sinfini to develop a strong brand identity and awareness campaign.

Creative agency Studio Output has designed an advertising campaign and extended brand identity for online classical music magazine Sinfini.

The ads – which will be launched in print and online next week – combine strong colours with bold black Euclid type. Images associated with music and classical composers such as a drum, a piano and a bust have been cut through and partially replaced with texture fills to reflect the brand’s tagline, Cutting Through Classical.

Owned by Universal, Sinfini describes itself as a site where readers can explore classical music whether they are “new to the genre or already something of an expert”. As well as articles, reviews and downloads, the site provides glossaries, timelines and guides explaining instruments, musical styles and the history of classical.

“Sinfini is quite a new platform – it’s a bit like the Pitchfork of classical music – but the editors were concerned that because it’s online, it was struggling to develop a strong, identifiable brand image. The web is constantly changing and being updated so there is no finished, permanent product like a printed magazine or newspaper, and they were keen to bring the brand together a bit more,” explains Laura Newman-Cardwell, producer on the campaign.

Sinfini editors were also keen to avoid anything “old-fashioned or too traditional”, says Newman-Cardwell.

“Classical isn’t all about Mozart and Bach and music from hundreds of years ago, and Sinfini wanted to reflect that. Of course, they target classical fans but they’re also a site aimed at people who might not have much of an understanding of it. They wanted to create something that was fresh and a little edgier than other classical sites, and they definitely didn’t want to use any musical notes or clefs,” she adds.
Studio Output has also designed a promotional oyster card holder with print insert featuring a flowchart quiz.

The cut through device, designed to mirror the ‘n’ in Sinfini, is a clever way to reflect the brand’s values, with each texture fill designed to represent a key Sinfini principle: landscapes, for example, represent discovery (top), while the silver metallic cut through is intended to represent innovation. “We initially planned to create around 20 but Sinfini only wanted a few,” says Newman-Cardwell.

The technique can also be applied to parts of the website to give Sinfini greater ownership of content, she adds. “It could be used for banners, images on the website or printed supplements and would be much more interesting than just using a logo.”


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