“Concert 2.0”, press release, 2018


Posters of the Munich Symphony Orchestra hang next to an escalator at the underground station of Munich Central Station.

Blackspace partners with the Munich Symphony Orchestra to launch the “Concert 2.0” project – making the orchestra visible to the public with a fresh new look.

The Munich Symphony Orchestra has completely restructured itself for the 2018/2019 season. After receiving the “Exzellente Orchesterlandschaft Deutschland” (“Excellent German Orchestra”) sponsorship award from the German State Ministry of Culture and Media, one further part of the change process is that they are now handling their subscription series themselves.

A new way of bringing art to people

The symphony is taking a bold, experimental approach to this task. Managing Artistic Director Annette Josef and Michael Keller from Blackspace have joined forces to break conventional listening habits with projects that transcend genre, unorthodox locations, and a new way of bringing art to people. The goal is “Concert 2.0” – to redesign the symphony’s main product, the “concert”, to appeal to younger culturally savvy audiences beyond regular visitors. As Annette Josef put it: “Out of the concert hall, into the city. The symphony is bringing music to the people!” The first obvious step for the general public is the Munich Symphony Orchestra’s brand new Corporate Design, designed by Blackspace.

Cinematic imagery that tells stories

The supporting campaign currently on display throughout the city of Munich focuses on the orchestra’s musicians with a clear message: the same essence, but with a new face. At the same time, the video artists at the Blackspace “Black Lab” are producing video clips that present classics from the symphony’s repertoire in an entirely new way. Michael Keller explains the unusual imagery as part of the “Concert 2.0” concept, a new approach to communicating art to all of the senses: “We want to tell stories. And think in terms of video. The images show what people think about when they listen to music. The concert halls aren’t our only platform. Instead, we want these images to spread throughout the digital space and across social media, on smartphones, Instagram and Vimeo.” Stills from these videos will also be featured on concert posters.

The wordmark as intonation

The symphony’s tagline speaks for itself: “Der Klang unserer Stadt” (“The sound of our city”). The newly developed “Münchner Symphoniker” wordmark is onomatopoeia in the truest sense of the word. It emphasizes the umlaut above the “u”, the diaeresis, to visualize the intonation of the word. The logo is reminiscent of a double beat of the drum. The type is based on “Bressay”, a classic Antiqua typeface updated for digital use. It features charming drop-shaped accents, creating a playful, yet elegant look.

New spaces for art

Annette Josef and Michael Keller got to know each other while collaborating on a new concert format, the “Connecting Sounds” project. The Munich Symphony Orchestra played a special concert at the agency’s office, in an old industrial hall. The designers linked the music to sound-reactive table lamps, allowing people to experience the sound in a spatial and visual way as well. Later, guests were seated among the orchestra’s musicians, making them part of the sound installation.

Michael Keller expressed a genuine concern in conceiving this project: “The visual identity serves as a space for the orchestra because we don’t have a concert hall in Munich. It’s important for Munich to claim new spaces for art.”