Visualising sound with Virgin Radio
Virgin has one of the world’s most famous logos. But when it comes to creating a visual identity for a radio station, where do you begin? For Virgin Radio International, it all started with sound.
Virgin Radio International operates more than 20 stations worldwide. And when it needed a new identity that reflected its community of listeners it set out on a journey to explore how you visualise sound.
Working with the Jupiter Drawing Room in Cape Town, Virgin Radio explored ways to bring sound to life in a visual way – they wanted something that would make them stand out and reflect the radio stations, while still encompassing the Virgin brand. “That’s how we hit upon cymatics: the science of visualising sound,” explains Jupiter Drawing Room executive creative director Jo Thomas.
Cymatics is the study of sound and vibration made visible. Water is often used to show the effect of vibrations as it’s such a strong conductor for sound – but it can also be shown using fine grains of salt or sand.
The Jupiter Drawing Room used this technique, using water and fine grains of sand on plates containing the star of the Virgin Radio logo. They filmed and photographed cymatic experiments for inspiration for the final designs.
“You see sound coming to life,” Jo says. “You end up with these amazing patterns, caused by the vibrations. You can’t believe what’s happening in front of your eyes.”
Virgin Radio and Jupiter Drawing Room used the footage and images of the patterns to create an identity for Virgin Radio International, and for each regional Virgin Radio station. The results can be seen when you visit the Virgin Radio International website, where they morph and move like a kaleidoscope in response to the movement of your mouse.
Visit Virgin Radio International to see for yourself.
For more inspiring insight into the world of Virgin, take a peek into Virgin By Design, Virgin’s 50-year history of its truly restless spirit.