Launched in 2013, Splice quickly became a robust and rapidly growing resource for musicians — a place to rent-to-own plugins, access samples, collaborate securely, and participate in a larger global community of sound. By simplifying the tedious process of working with music software, Splice empowers musicians and producers to hone their craft, develop their creative process, and release more amazing music.
After years of exponential growth, Splice soon found that its image and values were misaligned with the diversity of creativity that it enabled. As part of an initial core brand team, myself, Jay, and Chris were tasked with reshaping Splice's look-and-feel and finding new ways to celebrate the creative process than ever before.
We worked closely with an external agency, R/GA London, on the initial mark and overall strategy. The remaining brand assets and rollout within web / product were then developed further in-house, alongside additional collaborations with OMSE on a custom typeface and Heather Sten on photography.
In particular, I was responsible for helping shape the primary visual language, photography & illustration direction, color palette, and overall thinking behind community, campaigns, and social channels. I was also a primary contributor to the entire end-to-end visual direction of the mark, typeface, voice & tone, and brand strategy.
This case study is only a small portion of the incredible amount of work that went into reforming this brand, of which I'm happy to provide more on request.
CREATIVE DIRECTION: CHRIS MUCCIOLI
PRODUCT DIRECTION: AZZA ELSHEIKH
PRODUCT DESIGN: JAY SCHAUL & STEVEN NEAMONITAKIS
FRONT-END DEVELOPMENT: LARA WARMAN & JESS ELDREDGE
COPYWRITING: SIMON GOETZ
PHOTOGRAPHY: HEATHER STEN
LOGOMARK & STRATEGY: R/GA LONDON
TYPE DESIGN: OMSE
The mark itself is both a reference to the letter "S" and also a symbol of creative flow — energy that is never confined, static, or linear.
The branding system accommodates sub-branding for various internal products and external partnerships.
The primary and secondary palettes were chosen for an emphasis on vibrancy, but without falling too deeply into candy-colored hues. Color is also a crucial feature of product & UX, and thus was considered for usability as well as personality.
The primary core of Splice's visual language evolved from the mark itself — by isolating, separating, and remixing it's core shapes, we accessed an endless array of visual elements to complement or illustrate the brand, community, and artists themselves.
In instances and media that primarily focus on artists' stories, we pushed this concept further by using the shape system as a means to recontextualize artist photography itself.
Likewise, Splice also needed a brand typeface that performed just as well externally as in product. We partnered with OMSE in London to develop a custom cut of their Modern Era typeface that mimicked the strong, broad flow of the mark while also sustaining readability at small sizes.
More than just the visual brand was rethought — Splice also commissioned a complete overhaul of internal voice and tone, as a means to define company values and external copy in almost every user channel.
A new set of photography and photo guidelines was commissioned for both Splice's external marketing site and as a library for various future projects. Shot by Heather Sten, it consisted of five separate shoots with eight different musicians (all users of Splice). Each shoot emphasized lighting as a contextual complement to each musician's specific creative process.
Finally, all of this was also successfully implemented into both Splice's desktop app, web experience, and marketing website. This coincided with a redesign and restructuring of most of Splice's front-end code, allowing brand, copy, product, and engineering a space for collaboration.
A brand like Splice is nothing without the tireless community of musicians, producers, and enthusiasts that have supported it every step of the way. As a means to recognize, celebrate, and inspire them, Splice chose to announce its new brand with a campaign showcasing the creative process itself through the lens of six different musicians of radically different genres.
We set out to interview each artist about the three things that inspire them the most, alongside their usage of Splice. By making these perspectives informative and accessible through Instagram (and other social channels), we sought to inspire our users to create something new and share their own stories.
I was responsible for end-to-end art direction and visual design, while evolving a unique extension of the brand language on a tight timeline alongside a larger brand release.
See more of the campaign itself here.