Zulver & Co begins tuning up creative work this week for a rebrand of the Philharmonia Orchestra, as the celebrated ensemble looks to broaden its audience with a relaunch scheduled for the spring.
Building on its strong traditions of live concerts and high quality recording work, the Philharmonia is planning a ‘complete repositioning in terms of sound’, says Zulver & Co design director Andrew Zulver. This will take it closer to a Classic FM-type audience, without alienating existing listeners, who have similar characteristics as fans of Radio 3, he says.
In seeking a broader appeal, the orchestra is hoping to attract ‘the type of people [who are] currently visiting Tate Modern’, Zulver explains. Five demographic segments, including categories Zulver describes as ‘stylish singles’, ‘suburban semis’ and ‘bohemian melting pot’ have been identified.
While the Philharmonia’s ‘core product is its classical repertoire’, this initiative is about ‘more bums on seats’, he adds.
According to Zulver, the design work will need to evolve the symbol of the orchestra into a more multifaceted and relevant visual language. ‘The current Apollo’s head logo is rather meaningless and the word-style is difficult to use graphically,’ he says.
‘Following the strategic review, we now know the heart and soul of where it is as an orchestra. Our creative work will have to focus on bringing some uniqueness to its brand,’ he adds.
As well as enhancing the live concert experience, the Philharmonia’s development is likely to embrace music downloadable via the Internet.
According to Philharmonia Orchestra marketing director Alice Walton, ‘This is the first stage in a major project to reach new audiences and secure the future of the orchestra.’
Founded in 1945 by EMI executive Walter Legge, the Philharmonia is resident at the Royal Festival Hall in London, as well as playing at venues in Basingstoke, Bedford and Leicester.
Zulver & Co won the work after a five-way pitch, having previously designed the brand for the Friends of the Philharmonia in 1997.