Melbourne Music — Go Deep or Go Home
Melbourne Music Dance Underground — Tourism Website — Case Study
In this project, we were asked to make a tourism website based on a location and target audience of our choice. We had to:
- Build an engaging and impactful brand campaign that promotes tourism on the country/area and target audience you selected.
- Create a strong visual brand identity and a responsive website creating engaging, impactful and well- designed experience for the users and optimized to meet business goals.
- Establish a consistent visual identity that carries through different marketing and promotional materials.
- Create a logo for the campaign that captures the direction, mood, tone and audience you will be capturing.
It seemed easy at the onset, but I had a hard time narrowing down my project. I decided to do Melbourne, Australia. It seemed obvious to me. I have always wanted to go there and all my friends are flocking there and coming back raving about it. Friends say I would love it down there for the music scene and the general vibe. I thought maybe I could be closer to it by doing a project on it (which is true).
Most of my peers know that I do music production and DJ as my full-on side project, as well as design my own album art and music related art installations, and I’m always interested in what is going on in other places.
Sometimes I forget that not everyone has this perspective on life. I can only think of going on a trip if it will eventually lead to something musical, or artistic, specifically underground. I took this for granted in why Melbourne compelled me. On doing research I found out a lot of things about the city that were interesting but weren’t helping my project stand out or have direction.
At first I thought “Wow there’s all these museums!” and then “Wow, the food scene!” and “Street art!” “Architecture!” “The city is bikeable!”. Of course all these things are good but, to me they’re only good if they eventually lead to something greater like a good underground music scene. I only like touristy things as an accent to a more personalized vacation.
I was a bit lost with my user persona. I was trying to imagine tourists, or people in Vancouver that would be going on a trip. Since I had no data to back up my persona, I was finding it hard to pick out stereotypes. After talking to one of the UX instructors about user personas, he said that it’s easier to either pick someone you know or use yourself if there is no data, and the project is open. I thought I could use my sister who is planning on going to Australia. She works in the tourism industry, looking for an adventure… ultimately I don’t understand her overall motives because we are very different, so the dread of catering my design to a lifestyle I am trying to avoid was keeping me up at night.
Seeking advice, I talked my design instructor who shares a passion for music with me. She encouraged me to take the angle of music, because people have told her too that she should visit and check out the music scene. She told me I could use her as my persona if I needed to, so I took her up on her gracious offer, which made it easier to combine my knowledge with her perceived interests. I thought it would be a bit weird to use myself as the persona but now that I have experience I think I could do it. I talked to my other design instructor who encouraged me to go this direction which I needed because I was very confused. It seems like the design process is a bit rickety at first. The mystery is stressful sometimes, it’s like looking for an apartment on Craiglist.
As simple as it is, this is the main draw of what the campaign is about. The idea is to have a travel experience that is unique, candid, and authentic.
I made 3 moodboards. The first two were “Day” and “Night”. This seemed like the most logical approach to the design process. I collected photos and made compositions. The idea was that “Day” would be wandering and uplifting, and “Night” would be intimate and thrilling.
I decided to explore the Art Direction “Day” because I thought the colours suited Melbourne more — the sunbleached and faded colours spoke more to how I imagined Melbourne. Although I liked the “Night” direction, it felt too generic, like it could be any city.
These are some of my explorations and style tiles. I was playing around with shapes, fonts, colours, and the logo.
As most designers would agree, I find it helpful to draw out the pages. I made an affinity diagram to help me categorize the content. After making wireframes I started doing mid-fi, but quickly found that cumbersome so I jumped into hi-fi.
Style Tile & Explorations
Overall this look, for a lack of better words, seemed too boring and mainstream for what I was going for. In keeping with the theme of authenticity, I decided to look further for a more underground aesthetic. Through my research, the underground dance music scene there seems inspired by a throwback aesthetic of graphic design. I made a new moodboard inspired by 90s rave flyers.
New Art Direction
This art direction inspired by flyers is playful and friendly, but at the same time sort of mysterious. In keeping things underground, not all information can be disclosed so that it why it is a theme. There is a common theme of cartoons and sim
I was given some resources from two of my design teachers, encouraging me to look at brutalist design websites and other websites that I like. The example above is from http://brutalistwebsites.com/. I was inspired by brutalist design because it’s free, random, and artistic which would lend itself to my theme of authentic and playful.
I wanted the colours to be bold and retro looking. I mostly used two colours in the design with hints of red and yellow. The primary colours reminded me of classic design, but brighter. The brightness also lends itself to the playful feeling I was trying to create.
I wanted the images to look photocopied like the flyers from the moodboard, and to give the images a more unified look. I was inspired by the black and white images of the Berlin Community Radio website. I used the photoshop duotone setting to make the images more alike. At RED we call it “Spotifying it” (they use duotone images). With this connotation it looks more graphic and has a feeling of being related to music like an album cover or press photo.
I added textures layered underneath the photos and as a background to give the design a more printed, and photocopied look. Relating to the idea of a printed flyer. If you think about the feeling of being given a printed hand-bill that will take you to a cool underground party, this is what I wanted to recreate. It also adds to it being grungy and underground.
I couldn’t choose one single style to go with for my word mark. I wanted the font/word mark to cycle through like flipping the channels of a TV or radio to give it a vintage feel. And also to have a feeling of randomness of adventure that one’s trip might have. I brought the text into Illustrator and then used different effects to make custom fonts.
Above is an example of the different styles of custom text.
I wanted the logo to be playful and represent Melbourne, Australia, as well as music. I came up with the idea of a kangaroo with a vinyl record. It’s playful and cute. At first my kangaroo didn’t have a face but then I added in a smiling face and changed the direction of the character.
Swag Design & Ads
For the t-shirt I did a take on the Jeep logo. From the moodboard you can see that it’s part of the culture to flip brands and make them say something else (like the Kool-Aid Man). It has always been popular to bootleg clothes in underground scenes. And in keeping with the 2018 trends, brand flipping is also in style right now. The “Go Deep” shorts are for swimming or for dancing, a play on words with swimming and going into deep waters. Sun cream is what Australians call sunscreen, an important must-have for being in the sun.
I made VIP passes because it related to music and thought that it would be a fun ad campaign to run online. The idea is that if you tag @melbournemusic you can win a VIP pass that would be a guestlist for selected clubs. It might give people more incentive to go out and explore without having to pay cover.
Go Deep or Stay Home
The other instagram ad is “Go Deep” which is part of the campaign “Go Deep or Stay Home”. This campaign has a tone of humour, and it also bossy. It is poking fun at bro or sports culture, but also serious (Like seriously though). It is ironic because underground music culture isn’t very pushy, that’s why people find a place there, but it’s serious in the way of quality control — sound quality, atmosphere, music content, beverages, graphic design, and style (basically the overall experience). People find that smaller venues and functions suit them better than big corporate venues because of the vibe and the quality of the experience. It is also suggesting to “Go Deep” in the underground, and geographically “Deep” since Australia is at the bottom of the world.
I was looking up mockups on Behance, and this ad stood out to me. I like how unexpected a truck ad is, and actually very effective. With the playful tone of my design, I thought that it would fit in.
Visit inVision link to see the prototype!
I’m glad that I got to research and implement design that I was inspired by (like brutalist design, and other music websites).
I am always going to be frustrated with the amount of work and time I put into something and how it isn’t quite right when I’m done. I was happy with how much I had learned and explored but really I found it hard to tie up the loose ends and have everything in the right spot from page to page. I guess my challenges are more in the software than the vision. RED has a “learn it yourself” approach which is great for feeling empowered to learn. Sometimes I found that tit slowed me down and I ended up finding barbaric and time consuming techniques of using Sketch and other programs.
I’m happy with the way this project went and that I made a design that was different from your average UI design. I feel like I learned a lot, even though I wish my organization skills were better. It helped to organize along the way so that I can write the case study and do a presentation.