Page 1



Brief LCM



Research Book Collaborators:

Joel Burden

LCM Brief

Heather from Marketing at Leeds College of Music wrote is a rather extensive brief with internal deadlines that we would use to base our research from. The brief was interesting to read as it was by far one of the most professional briefs I have ever worked on. We set out what criteria we wanted to know, and Heather provided an extensive brief to each criteria.

Meeting With LCM

Joel and I had a meeting with the Leeds College of Music marketing department, we discussed the specifics of the brief and we talked about the Leeds College of Music brand. We picked up some materials to take as reference.

LCM Website

Joel and I had a look at the LCM website and where our work could end up. This would give us the ability to see where our work would end up and who it would be for.

Heather from Marketing at Leeds College of Music sent us some of the sample webpages that would be used to display the digital components of the brief. This gave us specific dimensions, but also allowed us to look at the context of where our work would be. This allowed the design direction to be more considered in terms of context, which is an integral part of any design problem.

Steinway Show

I looked some models of Steinway piano’s in order to truly understand the anatomy of the piano, and have an awareness of some of the terminology that is used when talking about them. This could provide language, or motives for visuals for my design product.

Design Sheets

I started doing design sheets in order to get my head around the idea. I asked myself questions about what the problem was, I then made maps of Steinway and Leeds College of Music in order to have everything down. I then noted key points I wanted to achieve and then started to get some ideas down.

210 Years In The Making

After some unsuccessful concept generation Joel approached me with a concept that I thought was brilliant. The idea was that 210 Years is the combination of Steinway and Leeds College of Music’s age. This means that the prestige of the concert is elevated to the level of heritage that London music institutions have.


I started looking into pianos, the form, materials and the mechanics. II wanted to understand the details of the instruments and how this could potentially inform my design direction.

It occurred to me that we would be looking exclusively at the grand piano. Classical music has an affinity to grand pianos and it occurs to me that the Steinway Showcase will be looking at grand piano’s exclusively. While I want to steer away from using a piano, as a subject of the printed material, I would like to understand all the possibilities available to me before moving ahead with the brief.

Creative Piano Visuals

Due to music being an art form and a platform for creativity, there seems to be a symbiotic relationship between the graphic design and the musical event. Due to the creativity involved in music, a platform seems to be put down which allows the graphic design to be equally captivating and inspiring.


As I was researching I found that there was something very interesting in piano diagrams. I became slightly obsessed with the idea of diagrams and thought that this could be a potential direction for the brief, or a strategy for a potential illustration.

Visual Sound

I wanted to see how designers visualise sound. I looked specifically at examples that have an affinity with classical or timeless music.

The last 3 posters are my favourite pieces of music imagery I have seen across my research in this brief. The Miles Davis posters seems to capture that visceral intagibility of music in a visual way, which is one of the best I have seen. The second is a nice capture and more standard graphic representation of sound, but very nice nontheless. The third is very sexy, very sexy indeed.

Previous Steinway Entrys

I looked into the previous Steinway Showase posters that were done by freelance graphic designers. The designs left a lot to be desired. Some of them were designed by Kate Prior in her signature style and were by far the most interesting of the bunch. We would like to infuse more of a concept into our response, and focus more on the printed media that would be needed for the event.

All the posters featured for the Steinway Showcase are adequate pieces of design communication, however they are design purely on a visual level with no more consideration for the content other than the way it looks. This is fine, and some of the designs have been executed quite nicely. With our response we would like to reach a little deeper.

William Morris For part of our design we need to illustrate a William Morris style art deco pattern. Joel took on the duty of illustrating the design and I will vector it in illustrator. To begin with we needed some reference imagery for the poster and we wanted to take parts from a variety of Morris’s work to create a new style for the poster. The art deco theme is a nod to the time that Steinway was established. The natural concerns of Morris work have a direct affinity to the classical music produced around this time.

Studio Classical Music Posters

It appears that a fair few high profile graphic design studios have done work for classical music events. I looked into this to see how other design studios have tackled a similar brief. I need to be careful when do this to make sure that I do not become too influenced by these responses and that my own response stays unique and on brief.

Studio Output Studio Output took the path of completely modernising the idea of the classicall concert. The colour palette is bold, the photography is crisp and minimal, and the typography is very contemporary. The imagery on the page overleaf is extremely well executed. The art direction is striking, and the split image frame makes for a less of a contrast than it lets on. The white bust, and pristine drum look very modern.

Studio Dumbar Studio Dumbar have done probably the most interesting and risky response to a classical concert. The design seems very on trend for a classical concert. I love how the use of Helvetica pulls in the on trend imagery from an underground lofi setting to something that is quite high fidelity.

Mirko Borsche I don’t even understand what these posters are about. They are in the style of old film titles. I think I need more context to understand them, but they are exceptionally well executed, but still, huh!?

Mirko Borsche II This is a little more reserved effort from Mirko Borsche. The visual direction is still very modern, maybe not in the same way as Studio Output, or Studio Dumbar, however the style is very refined.

LCM Research Book  
LCM Research Book