We <3 Vocalo. Having worked with the station on previous campaigns, we already knew that people were the core of their brand. Vocalo is quirky and unafraid to try new things, sometimes loud, always charming, and totally in love with their city.
So when they realized that many in Chicago could not tune in due to poor reception, they added new signals to better serve more neighborhoods.
Initially we planned to design a new campaign to announce the signal change. We hit the streets, combing the neighborhoods with new access to Vocalo for inspiration, and finding it in the colorful, hand-painted signs hanging in the windows of small corner markets.
So taken with this design direction, the station asked us to expand our scope and refresh their entire brand around the fresh, direct concept.
Rather than digitally recreate the hand-painted aesthetic, we perfected our own brush-in-hand lettering technique and hand-painted two custom alphabets. We also developed a vibrant palette with three core color combinations. Between the colors and letters, we created numerous variations of the logo so that every piece in the system, including tote bags, buttons, print materials and signage, felt completely fresh while at the same time connected.
Bus Benches & Billboards
We took the campaign to the streets where it all began, strategically targeting bus benches and inconspicuous billboard spaces to give the Vocalo brand a lived in sheen. We wanted it to feel like part of the neighborhood, like it was home.
Again, rather than design billboards digitally, we hand-painted them at full scale; the eagle-eyed passerby can make out the brushstrokes and shifting weights along each curve. To create printable files, we scanned the painted pieces bit by bit and reassembled them in Photoshop. It was a lot of work, but without a doubt worth it to have created a brand for a company whose heart and soul is Chicago.