As publications like USA Today and SPIN Magazine undergo foundational changes in both their business models and editorial strategy, we find that billboard, a cornerstone of American entertainment media, has undergone a rebranding project to lift the brand equity amidst shifts in the music industry.
In the logo, the ‘B’ in Billboard becomes lowercase, fitting in with a minimalist trend other brands like jcpenny have taken in the past few years. The colors in the name have also been removed, as has lots of the ‘extras’ on the cover, making it a simple, sleek design that is no longer cluttered. The 119 year old brand had this new look designed by Pentagram partner Michael Bierut, who worked with Billboard’s Creative Director Andrew Horton and editors Bill Werde and Joe Levy.
As for the future of the magazine, it seems that they will continue to focus heavily on music industry professionals and convey a more ‘grown up’ feel. In describing the creative challenge Bierut said, “For me, helping to redesign the Billboard charts was the ultimate information design challenge.” This is particularly clear when looking at how the design of chart rankings has evolved.
On the website front, Area17 has been working on developing Billboard’s iPad experience and billboardbiz platform as well as building in unique features into the main site such as providing the ability to play charts through digital platforms including Spotify, Rdio, and MySpace. Visit the site to explore the changes for yourself.