Passionate Ideas. Strategic Design.

Lansing Symphony Orchestra:
87th Annual Season

Lansing Symphony:
87th Annual Season

Brand Positioning, Campaigns, Creative Direction

Brand Positioning, Campaigns,
Creative Direction

Brand Positioning, Campaigns,
Creative Direction

Formed in 1929, the Lansing Symphony Orchestra (LSO) is widely recognized as a cultural cornerstone of Mid-Michigan. The orchestra curates and performs a wide selection of music, including their MasterWorks Series, Pops Series, Chamber Ensembles, and Jazz Ensembles. The 87th season marked Timothy Muffitt’s tenth year as music director of the LSO. Under his leadership, the organization has focused on performing contemporary selections while maintaining a robust program of classical masterpieces.

The ADDYS is a creative competition and awards ceremony that celebrates the best in advertising, design, photography, and videography each year.

Client:  Lansing Symphony Orchestra

Client:  Mid-Michigan Creative Alliance

Client:  Mid-Michigan Creative Alliance

Client: 
Mid-Michigan C.A.

Team:  Erica Tedesco, Design

Designer:  Erica Tedesco

Designer: 
Erica Tedesco

Photographer:  Eat Pomegrante Photography

Photographer:  Eat Pomegrante

Photographer: 
Eat Pomegrante

Awards:  (4) SILVER ADDYS, Mid-Michigan

Awards:  (4) SILVER ADDYS, Mid-Michigan

Awards:  (4) SILVER ADDYS, MMCA

Awards: 
(4) SILVER ADDYS, MMCA

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Brand Strategy

The Lansing Symphony Orchestra had long been a client of Traction. At the beginning of the year, the agency produced creative specific to the season as well as creative for each of the individual concerts. However, there was rarely a visual thread that tied the individual efforts to one another. Now in charge of creative direction and strategy at our agency, I had the opportunity to reimagine our creative endeavor for the symphony orchestra.

My analysis of the brand showed there was very little recognition of the visual identity, likely due to the lack of visual consistency. The LSO had also charged us with the goal of growing attendance amongst University students and working professionals. With this information, I determined our new approach would be to reposition the visual identity of Lansing Symphony Orchestra through the use of a transposable visual structure. In this way, each season's creative begins to look and act like a campaign, driving brand credibility and recognition. 

In the first year of the repositing, we determined a basic creative theme that would ultimately act as the bedrock for each season's creative campaign: Contemporary vs. Classical. As stated in the project overview, the director for the LSO, Timothy Muffet, had taken an ensemble that almost exclusively played Classical compositions and implemented a contemporary mix of modern-day selections. Now, the creative would reflect the ambitions of the organization. 

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87th Season Photography

With our newly founded strategy, we took to pen and paper to decided how we would execute our creative theme. One determination we made was the use of photography. The brand previously relied on vector illustration and design for the majority of its tenure with Traction. Now, the brand would be brought to life through engaging custom photography.

Another request from the LSO was the need to incorporate each of the guest artists in the creative. This task seemed nearly impossible due to our lack of access to the artists and their lack of good photography. So, we decided to utilize current ensemble members that played the same instrument as the guest artist. However, we would shoot the photography without the use of their faces. In this way, the photography remained emblematic of the guest artist and retained a consistent look across all executions. 

Lastly, we decided to shoot each of the individuals at very simplistic angles: portrait, profile, and top-down. These angles allowed us to capture the best aspect of each artist while retaining a uniform style. We also wanted the photos to be taken up close and personal, capturing the action of each artist. This approach echoes the intimate experience of an LSO performance.

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87th Season Campaign

The design for the 87th season would continue to iterate on our creative theme. Brand typography was chosen to juxtapose one another in the same was our idea had – Champion and Gotham represented the contemporary side while Chronicle represented the classical aspect.

The palette would consist of black and white, which the brand would retain each year, and a rotating color. Black and white were chosen because of their relationship to both sides of the theme. As for the rotating color, we decided on the use of gold. Not only is gold reminiscent of brass instruments and strings but of class and style.

Through the use of brochures, program books, posters, direct mail, and more, the creative was more consistent than ever. Regardless of the concert being advertised, there was no question it was brought to you by the Lansing Symphony Orchestra.

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A complete overview of the 87th season materials: posters, direct mail, and brochure.

A complete overview of the 87th season materials: posters, direct mail,
and brochure.

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A spread from the brochure featuring the first two concerts from the Masterworks Series.

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© 2018 T. Sieting

© 2018 T. Sieting

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