The goal of this project was to re-brand Audio-technica®, a Japanese audio equipment company that manufactures headphones, microphones, turntables, and other audio accessories. To solve the various issues the company was facing, I refined the brand identity with a waveform-inspired logo, created an organized product catalog that references the companies roots, and developed a complete lineup of packaging that showcases the premium quality of each product.
In discussion with Audio-technica’s marketing director, it was clear that the company had goals to market a wide variety of products to a large customer-base and communicate their high-end audio quality while paying homage to their Japanese roots. The mission was to present the brand with the following attributes: Authentic, Organic, Clarity, Immersive, and Heritage. Focusing on their “Consumer” market, the target audience is hobbyists, content creators, and musicians ages 18–34.
Based on focus group feedback, users had stated that the current packaging made the products appear as if they were cheap knockoffs. When asked how “high-end audio quality” could be communicated visually, a large majority of users in the focus group selected images of mesh patterns and cutouts taken from microphone and speaker grilles. Japanese culture is heavily influenced by nature, sunrises, and Japanese flowers. The distinguishable, geometric patterns found in these flowers bared a striking resemblance to the patterns seen in microphone and speaker grilles. I then began tracing these patterns to reproduce a hybrid of the two concepts, developing a set of geometric, radial patterns to be incorporated within the brand’s visual language.
With a catalog containing over 1,500 products, Audio-Technica’s messaging had become increasingly disorganized and unfocused, without a clear brand voice. In order to solve this, I developed the 2018 Audio-technica® Consumer Catalog, categorizing each product into one of four primary product-pillars: Headphones, Microphones, Turntables, and Accessories. The catalog features a rhythmic product layout and high-resolution photography that emphasizes details of flagship products alongside radial patterns, sunrise gradients, and circular design elements referencing the Japanese flag. The piece was designed at 12” x 12” with a die-cut slipcover, mimicking a vinyl record and providing a subtle nod to the company’s early days as a turntable manufacturer. A strategic brand-voice was also developed, focused on converting new customers to the authentic listening-experience of Audio-technica’s products. Messaging was paired with stylized photography emphasizing this concept. Utilizing over-saturated background environments, happy customers are highlighted in stark contrast, immersed in the listening experience and presented in natural and authentic color tones.
Product and Lifestyle Photography provided by Audio-Technica, Inc.