Designed by DesignStudio, London.
ROLI, one of the world’s leading music technology innovators, came to us with BLOCKS: a modular music studio that lets anyone make music through simple, intuitive gestures. It’s designed to be a powerful tool for pros on the move, but also easy to learn for beginners.
The system is completely customisable: Blocks connect together to create a kit that can grow over time, as the skills and interests of the musician grow. Working together with ROLI, we helped position and introduce BLOCKS to the world with a global launch campaign.
One of the first tasks was working with ROLI to find a way to describe the modular music studio.
We ran a series of workshops, interviews and focus groups during our immersion phase. Speaking to everyone from non-musicians, to aspiring and professional musicians, we uncovered one key thought that helped shape the rest of the project.
Music is like a language that most people understand, but few can speak — because few people can play an instrument. Music brings us joy, but it can also confuse and frustrate people who try to play an instrument. We created a campaign based around a new, visual language for music. Something that makes sense to beginners, but appeals to experienced musicians too.
We looked at the unique ways that people played BLOCKS and the tactile nature of touching the silicone Lightpad Block. A new concept for interacting with music formed the basis of the campaign — Shape Music.
The concept of Shape Music informed the whole launch.
We worked with ROLI on design assets such as print ads, artist ads (including Grimes, Steve Aoki and RZA), and a social media campaign. As the BLOCKS platform continues to evolve, we can’t wait to see what a new generation of musicians creates.
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