Rebranding and repositioning the Richmond Symphony for future generations.

Project Overview


Despite 60 strong years of programming, attendance has been dimishing at the Richmond Symphony.

They asked us to investigate ways to increase attendance and strengthen their core offerings for future generations.


  • Identify a strategic direction for the organization.
  • Identify business elements that could be preventing growth.
  • Identify opportunities to create new core branding elements (tonally and visually).
  • Recommend improvements to existing digital products.


Create a new brand identity for the Richmond Symphony that extends to all print and digital promotional materials and speaks to the core of what the symphony offers: symphonic performances.

Business and Strategy

Current State and Future Direction

Fig 1: Identifying the Target Opportunity - 30-35, double income, no kids

Fig 2: Labeling and Defining the Target - "Creative Activists"

Fig 3: The Current Sitemap - How can we rework this to make performances more accessible to Creative Activists?

Fig 4: Proposed Programming Structure - Grouping performances into distinct and identifiable categories.

In order to understand how to help the client, we first sought to identify the current state of the organization. We began by investigating the core offerings, which we identified as a mix of symphonic performances that are loyally attended by a fifty-year-old-plus clientel, and educational initiatives that are frequented by forty-somethings and their children.

We saw a target opportunity in the 20-40 year age bracket, specifically speaking to 30-35 year old couples with a double income and no children who identify as “Creative Activists”: individuals who care deeply about the arts and about investing in the development of Richmond’s creative community.

Further investigation into the business led us to discover an opportunity to reformat the structure of the programming itself. Currently, the organization uses a variety of names to refer to the different types of programming. We proposed a restructuring and simplification of the programming that emphasizes three equal pillars: Richmond Symphony Core (traditional symphonic performances), Richmond Symphony Currents (modern/experimental symphonic performances), and Richmond Symphony Family (educational and youth performances). All existing programming would fall into one of these three pillars.

Brand Essence

Defining a New Voice for A Classic Organization

Manifesto Video

With the target identified and new programming structure in place, we sought to establish a new tone for the brand that would speak to the ideals of the organization moving forward.

Visual Redesign

Rethinking the Visual Language

Fig 1: Visual Concept

Fig 2: Visual Examples

Fig 3: Logo Redesign

Fig 4: Visuals in Print

In order to develop a new visual identity for the Richmond Symphony, we first began to think about the city itself as a living organism, identifying the fluid nature of the city throughout the years. From fluidity, we were able to tie movement in music and movement in life to the movement of the James River. This fluidity and movement gave way to the visual aesthetic of moving ribbons, traveling throughout any visual representations in a way that links the city to the music, and vice versa.

The different movement patterns visually correspond to the three programming pillars outlined above. From this, we redesigned the logo with movement in mind, bringing literal movement into the digital representations. With the new programming, new brand voice, and new visuals, we were able to establish a vision for how the visuals would live in print and on the web.

Web Redesign

Applying New IA and Visuals

Fig 1: Current Sitemap

Fig 2: IA Card Sort


We re-worked the site’s IA to clearly focus on performances and programming. Non-programming elements such as FAQs and parking info were more clearly separated.

Fig 1: Wireframes

Fig 2: User Flow


The new user flow allowed for more direct user engagement, with clear CTAs driving sales. The addition of a search component allowed for easy access to non-programmitic information.

Fig 1: Mobile

Fig 2: Desktop

Final Design

The final design combines the redesigned IA and UX with the new visual aesthetic in order to promote ease of use and brand consistency.

Web Prototype

Interaction Design Prototype


To sell through the redesigned web experience, we created an interactive prototype to demonstrate the new user flow to the client.

The user flow emphasizes moving performance information to the forefront of the information hierarchy, while allowing for all other secondary information to live in a side drawer. The addition of a search feature allows for streamlining the user's information gathering process.

The Team

A list of team members and their roles

Dan Cotting

Experience Designer

Colleen Hiegel

Creative Brand Manager

Katherine Gannon


Will Bareford


Conor McFarland


Maria Kouninski

Art Director

Chris Lumain

Art Director