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Born again: reinventing the iconic radio station Studio Brussel

Change is never easy. Especially when the subject of change is an icon linked to the youth of a whole generation: Belgian radio station Studio Brussel. However, just like rock'n'roll itself, radio must evolve to stay culturally relevant. That's why Studio Brussel trusted Base Design with the development of their new visual, graphic, motion and digital identity.

When the people at Studio Brussel approached us, the radio station was going through a phase of change. They had always been a bit edgier, sharper, funnier and more creative than the rest, setting trends while others followed. It was important for them to reconnect with their DNA and remain the major reference for music culture in Belgium. It meant igniting a shift in their programmation and overall content creation. We kept their essence and made the rest evolve.

Sander Vermeulen, Design Director

Starting the project we realized everyone in the team had their own personal understanding of Studio Brussel. And they were all right. They are equally about popular youth culture and internet memes as they are about vague garage punk. We had to build a hybrid brand that would adapt to whatever was going on: summer music festivals, heavy metal, house, hip hop or the Tour of Flanders. Edgy enough to be rock and roll, yet universal enough to be for everyone.

Thomas Leon, Creative Director

The first step was to make sure music was put back first, both in terms of content and visuals. A second point was the energy. Whether it's through a metal grunt or a stupid bag race, Studio Brussel has always been full of energy, never taking itself too seriously. We wanted to keep their diversity and spontaneity, while channeling it into a more conscious brand vocabulary. We used a simple line to sum this up: 'mix your beautiful bazaar'. It remained a key concept throughout the design process.

Jasmine De Bruycker, Strategist & Copywriter

As a multimedia channel, Studio Brussel was torn between a need for a strong identity and a need to push content forward. The real heroes are the artists, the hosts and the community. This is why we worked on a custom type that can express both directions: it is a living font with typographic twists that is energetic and iconic enough to sustain the identity, but can tune down when necessary. Letters with a sense of rhythm.

Sander Vermeulen, Design Director

When your name is Studio Brussel but everyone calls you StuBru, you better accept it. Together with the communications team we decided to act upon it and get rid of the corporate name. StuBru it is. The logo followed naturally.

Thomas Byttebier, Digital Director

StuBru's main ambassadors are its hosts. Some of them reach media stardom in Belgium. We wanted all of them to be part of the brand expression. Together with photographers Alex Salinas and Daniil Lavrovski, we brought a new tone to the art direction: flash snapshots. Because crappy is cool and the moment is now.

Léa Wolf, Designer

We updated the graphic layer of the website and visually clarified the navigation structure. The change was developed in-house at Studio Brussel.

Delphine Volkaert, Designer

StuBru is a brand for all. It's amazing to see how the identity lives today. And it's delightful to see how it helps the greatest Belgian radio station engage daily with its community.

Lukas Liefsoens, Designer