An identity for the Atlanta University Center-wide Symphony Orchestra, centering classical music’s Black heritage and future

Client: Ezra Haugabrooks, Director, Atlanta University Center-wide Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta, GA

The Atlanta University Center-wide Symphony Orchestra (AUCSO) centralizes music learning, rehearsal, and performance for the Atlanta University Center Consortium (AUCC).

Through its programming, AUCSO traces the lineage of classical music in Black culture and explores musical innovation in orchestra today. It invites students, and the Black community at large, to see themselves as musicians, patrons, and collaborators—as the future of classical.

AUCSO sought a visual identity to unify its programs across multiple HBCUs’ campuses and to express its diverse and lively vision of orchestra.

Designed for tomorrow’s orchestra

Like AUCSO, the logo represents orchestral music as inclusive, dynamic, and vital.

The fine lines allude to musical notation and practice. The brush texture energizes the mark. The four dots stand for the AUCC and city of Atlanta.

The logo spirals toward and away, outward and inward—just as AUCSO delves into both the history and future of Black orchestra.

Orpheus Pro has a classical look; Apercu Pro is a contemporary hybrid. The two together create a double-take effect, a reconsideration of assumptions.

By harmonizing opposing elements, the logo reflects AUCSO’s interrogation of what orchestra truly is.

Conceptualized with community in mind

Research and conversation with AUCSO provided critical insights into the brand and its values. Destabilizing assumptions about classical music, the brand takes inspiration from AUCSO’s mission to foster connections between historic and contemporary Black music and culture.

As part of a university colloquium, the brand balances intellectual rigor with lively curiosity. This comes through in every aspect of the identity system.

The typography is inspired by code-switching, fluidly shifting between social modes and languages, to put the classical and the contemporary in conversation.

The colorway palette is academic yet playful and electric. The guiding design principle is color overload—immersive, bold swathes of color to celebrate music.

An enduring, shared vision

The brand style guide anticipates collaborative partnerships between AUCSO and many creatives. It outlines principles that invite different perspectives into design projects, while maintaining the integrity of the brand.

AUCSO’s website was developed by Profound Pixels based on the guide and the brand’s visual elements.