In depth

Branding emphasising diversity and connectivity

René Pérez Joglar, better known as Residente is a Puerto Rican musician, writer, producer and co-founder of the alternative rap group Calle 13. He has won 25 Latin Grammy awards, the most ever awarded to a Latin artist.


Residente is as an artist inspired by diversity, connectivity and believes that deep down we are all humans. This idea motivated him to take a DNA test and travel the world connecting with people and exploring his roots while making the album ‘Residente’.


Identity concept

Residente’s message of connectivity and diversity was the biggest inspiration for the new branding to accompany his album release. It makes visual reference to the universal phonetic alphabet, communicating diversity and connectivity through changing the physical appearance of otherwise identical characters. Additionally, we were inspired by the shapes in flags from around the world, we removed the colors and broke them down into pieces, creating a unique set of visuals that appeal for universality and unity beyond any real or symbolic boundaries.


Logo inspiration

We developed a logo using a font inspired by the phonetic alphabet. The universally understood language embodied the album’s concept of cultural interconnectedness and global community. After settling on this guiding concept we started exploring the visual variations within.


Our first attempts were created using the values of diversity and unity and how these could be represented with mixed characters from different places or times - with these chinese characters we wanted to create an “R” pulled from the the symbol “民” meaning people. Initially we wanted the “R” to be strong enough to be a stand alone object for the branding.


We ended on a much simpler logo emphasizing the essence of the concept idea. Three versions of the letter E are used in the wordmark to represent the idea of diversity. It also serves as a reference for the many elements of our DNA and personal identities.


Throughout the branding material Helvetica Neue’s international characters are used creatively in various typographic compositions to represent diversity in the same way the logotype does. This was done with the consideration that the use of characters should not affect basic legibility of the sentence.


Tracing back to the roots of humanity

In addition, we created Residente’s album cover emphasizing the core concept idea about connectivity and diversity. We wanted to show that all humans are connected regardless of physical aspect, gender or culture and somehow link the visuals back to the roots of humanity.


We worked with different facial expressions, angles and poses but landed on this image because of it’s ambiguity - you can’t really tell if the subject is almost laughing or being angry. As well as the portrait we worked with coloured shapes, which are also used throughout other parts of the branding, referencing the flags and creating an appeal for universality and unity beyond any real or symbolic boundaries.


Coming to life

Having worked on the album cover, it was amazing to see this come to life physically. Here is Residente showing off his album cover in The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.


Type:

Branding

Client:

Residente

Deliverables:

Concept

Residente - Reimagining an artist’s identity

Residente is a musician, writer and filmmaker who has won more Latin Grammys than any other artist. When branching out an independent artist, he contacted us about a rebranding his identity to coincide with an upcoming crossover album.

We developed a logo using a custom font inspired by the phonetic alphabet. The universally understood language embodied the album’s concept of cultural interconnectedness and global community. Building on the logo, we developed a full visual identity including a unique icon system, illustrations and an array of marketing collateral including t-shirts, posters and skateboards. We also established graphical treatments that catered to social media, repurposing the brackets traditionally used within the phonetic alphabet to allow simple text-based social media messages to feel branded.

The look & feel culminated in the cover art for his new album which won a 2018 Grammy for Best Latin Rock Album. The result is a comprehensive visual identity system that is designed to reflect Residente’s unique artistic identity while evolving with him over time.

In depth

01

Identity concept

02

Logo inspiration

03

Tracing back to the roots of humanity

04

Coming to life

Concept

Inspired by the shapes in flags from around the world, we removed the colors and broke them down into pieces, creating a unique set of visuals that appeal for universality and unity beyond any real or symbolic boundaries.

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