People have been performing and listening to music at Cambridge for centuries, and today the musical scene is thriving. As a part of the university’s visionary commitment to the place of music within a Cambridge education the Centre for Music Performance has been established. It recognises both the joy which it brings to so many of us and also its potential to foster excellence, support mental health and wellbeing and promote inclusivity.
Appointed in a competitive tender process due to the strength of our experience working for the university and its colleges as well as in the arts, our job was to express this ambition in a joyous and inclusive way. Another very important consideration was that of diversity. Whilst naturally the centre is there to support accomplished orchestral musicians, its role is equally about providing a space for amateur musicians and those who simply want to jam with friends as an escape from the pressures of academia. Furthermore the centre is genre agnostic.
As a result the identity needs to express quality but not exclusivity. Equally it needs to be able to be managed and applied by an internal team with limited design and software expertise. Using simple geometric shapes derived from the newly created university identity as image holders creates something which can be used in a dynamic way and dialled up and down depending on the formality of the context. It also breeds consistency and recognition, differentiating comms from the typical Cambridge music tropes. A simple to apply texture adds further ownership to the powerful people imagery which is central to the aesthetic.
The final piece of the jigsaw is the verbal identity which is driven by the strapline ‘All for music, music for all’, part message of inclusivity and part call to arms. The identity lives on their website, social media as well as all printed comms and promotion, breathing joy and precision into this amazing initiative.