Friday, January 30, 2015

Art Imitates Life

Here's another new logo for you: Sonos.

I was scrolling past this image when I realized that there's something really special about it. It vibrates as you scroll up and down over it! Debatedly, it's supposed to act like pulsating sound waves of a speaker, but I'd argue that it works even if you don't know what Sonos is. You may know that Sonos makes high-end speaker systems, or you may love the aesthetic of the brand enough to find out what Sonos is. Goal achieved, either way.

The effect reminds me of a moire pattern, which happens when the image is so detailed that pixels on your screen interfere with it. The lines begin to vibrate because they are being rounded up or down to the nearest pixel every time the screen changes. I actually attempted something similar in a project of my own.

The ideation behind the vibration lines is – you may have guessed – amplification. Of course this relates to the sound that the speakers produce, but it also points toward Sonos as becoming an umbrella to all cloud music services, such as Spotify and Pandora. You can read more about that here.

I suppose there is an argument for the fact that this only works on screen, but that seems to be the way the advertising world is going. So why not make use of an interesting effect that wouldn't work as well with print? The brand is still very beautiful even without this. Not to mention the other aspects of Sonos' new brand.

For a company that produces products in solely black and while, they sure have a lot of colour in they brand. Not that that's a bad thing, it's actually quite smart. The brand has become iconic enough that colour, arguably the most recognized design component, is no longer necessary. Now that is a strong branding scheme. And don't think I've forgotten about the beautiful symmetry that is the palindrome of the word. It's spelled the same backwards and forwards, allowing for fun repetitions of the word such as the one above.

I am all for the use of thought-out design rationales and hidden double meanings that will become more prominent in future as a brand continues to reinvent itself. Flexible branding for a changing world is always a great asset to have.

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