We positioned the Melkweg as a versatile location for pop culture. That is the focus for the collaboration between Grrr and the Melkweg. After having created the Melkweg’s website we took the next step in 2016 with a new visual identity. This also meant refreshing the website dating from 2013. Grrr will keep working on the Melkweg’s channels during the coming years.

A brand for the digital era

It is the Melkweg’s mission to represent the entire spectrum of pop culture. They wanted a visual style that would support this mission. Creative, open, approachable, raw and with a do-it-yourself mentality. In order to portray this, Grrr, in collaboration with Bas Koopmans/Baster, developed a special font and imagery for the Melkweg. The imagery is originally digital. The idea is simple, a font was developed by using the MELKWEG base letters. The E turns into an M and the M turns into a W. The letters are square blocks that turn any word into a recognisable logo. The square letters can be turned and rotated and can also be put above, on and next to each other. Now, using just four letters, the Melkweg has proper icons for the Hiphop, Reggae and Dance subgroups.

Monthly program

Automated prints

Every month we create posters and flyers with overviews of events. CMS data is automatically imported into the printing files. This reduces the amount of work for the internal DTP’ers.

Website

The Melkweg website as a magazine

The Melkweg is the first venue in The Netherlands to have a website that uses visual storytelling. This supports the Melkweg’s position as a full spectrum pop music venue.

The Melkweg’s previous website wasn’t much more than a playlist. This time, we chose to treat the website as a magazine, inviting visitors to wander and encouraging them to make new discoveries. Our approach of using a lot of images offers many opportunities to enrich the visitor’s experience. This follows the trend of images becoming increasingly important online, partly caused by the use of smartphones and tablets. This is also reflected in the popularity of services such as Instagram.

Inspiring Algorithms

On top of offering a clear overview of the agenda, the website must actively invite audiences to concerts and events. A doubting visitor, looking for a fun evening, will not be convinced by a chronological list of artists. We designed the homepage to keep inspiring new and returning visitors.

This is generally done through rich content: the Melkweg’s admins can easily add videos, Spotify playlists and Soundcloud tracks to any concert. This content is directly playable within the page, allowing the visitor to explore whatever they find.

The arrangement of the concerts shown on the page is the result of some intelligently automated shuffling. The homepage makes a decision based on the time until the event, how long ago the concert was announced, whether the Melkweg’s curators want to give some extra attention and more. As a result, the homepage can keep on inspiring and showcasing new concerts, without the need for human input.

Of course we also implemented some custom work, making it as straightforward as possible. The website synchronises with YesPlan, which the Melkweg’s bookers use to plan events. The editors can then add stories, images, video and audio by using our content management system (CMS).

Agenda page on the melkweg website
A concert page on the melkweg website with social media links as spotify, facebook, soundcloud, twitter, youtube

Totally Melkweg

The dynamics of the new style can clearly be seen in animation, shown here for the Helemaal Melkweg Festival.

An intriguing launch

Mysterious white posters with black signs, they were visible in the city earlier. They were a sneak peak of the Melkweg’s new branding.

Grr was a logical choice for us, seeing as they are the only ones able to combine design and technical ability at this level.

Jon Heemsbergen, Head of Marketing

Long term collaboration

By choosing Grrr, the Melkweg has committed to working together for the coming years. We are proud to have won the pitch and that we can work for an organisation like the Melkweg. Even beter is that they share our vision that just having a good website isn’t enough. Grrr is working on information displays tailored to the programming in the different rooms, feeding them with information from the website. An app for smartphones and applications for music services such as Spotify are in the making.

Never alone

For this project, we collaborated with Bas Koopmans for the visual identity and Rein van der Ven for the website. The Melkweg’s fantastic marketing team was an ideal partner in execution and during the scrum process.

Talk of the town

Provocative design gets people talking, as was proven again after the Melkweg’s new branding launch. Fonk Magazine and Marketing Tribune’s design panel paid attention to our work.

A kind of cultural code showing its followers in the streets and on screen the way to the next show. A code, offering possibilities for new and unique combinations with artist’s own imagery. The works because as a host, you are always dependant on the quality of the materials you receive. Good to see

how important typography can be for a brand, even in the digital age. To summarise, smart, playful and an intriguing addition to the streets and my screens.

8/10.

Stefan Pangratz, VBAT