MUSE/IQUE is an orchestra of sorts based in Pasadena, California curating musicians, vocalists, and sometimes scientists from a variety of musical genres, in improvised venues—warehouses, public spaces, iconic locales—to create off-the-cuff, in-the-moment, one-off live performances. MUSE/IQUE knew that their brand aesthetics were dated and far below the quality of its players' musical abilities. The approached National Forest and asked us to bring create event posters, programs, and signage that reflected the real feeling of their summer concerts.
As a design firm and creative consultancy, we apply ourselves as both innovative thinkers and visual engineers. Our approach to communication is holistic so for this project we used a design language that we felt reflects MUSE/IQUE's contemporary take on classic institutions. We created a series of collectible event posters that doubled as performance's programs, printed as two color offset posters on heavy uncoated stock using florescent inks. By using visuals that would normally be seen when you imagine an orchestra but infusing an overarching brand language that projects fun, creativity, and optimism.
MUSE/IQUE had a record year of sold out events after undergoing a rebranding. The client felt that National Forest brought energetic force of a counter conventional orchestra and their core DNA of the brand to curate a distinct point of view and a true mark of a MUSE/IQUE’s passion to create uninhibited connections between artists and audiences.
"When we founded a counter conventional orchestra, we needed to create a whole new look for the organization that would lift up peoples’ imagination about the role of live music in the civic landscape. National Forest’s work not only gave us a whole new visual language for our music, but it also gave us a template for disseminating our message in creative ways. Just as we perform in improvised urban venues, National Forest’s poster campaign formed the basis for instant urban art installations that reflect our message and mission to the community. Our patrons loved the images created by National Forest, and the poster art designs gave us a credible way to reach out with a fine arts message to young and non-traditional audiences. As a result, we were able to achieve radical diversity in our audience." Brian Colburn - Executive Director MUSE/IQUE