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Making the Brand: Fresh Finds Playlist Collection

July 2021

Article

Alessandra Bautista

For the redesign of the Fresh Finds playlist collection, Editorial Design collaborated with partner It’s Nice That. To speak to the nuances of each genre in the collection, 11 global independent visual artists were commissioned to create a set of unique artworks.

Fresh Finds is a playlist collection that showcases the best emerging independent artists that span a range of genres. Often unsigned and up-and-coming in their careers, many young artists first meet their audiences through Fresh Finds. The collection currently consists of 10 playlists: 1 flagship list and 9 genre-specific lists ranging from indie to country to experimental. With around 50 newly released tracks added per week — the flagship playlist alone has grown an organic following of 700k+ followers with no promotion — Fresh Finds has established itself as the go-to playlist collection for listeners to discover new music from up-and-coming artists. 

Fresh Finds Flagship, visual artist: Isu Kim

Collaboration: Spotify Editorial Design X It’s Nice That

Editorial Design is the team dedicated to creating functional and beautiful artwork that enhances the content experience for users through product art direction. When we were tasked with redesigning Fresh Finds, we set out to align the cover artwork with the theme of the playlist collection: Discovering the freshest emerging artists.

One of the key challenges that we came up against was ensuring that the broad array of sounds included in the collection were represented — we knew that we needed to create a visual identity that scaled and spoke to each genre, while still giving the entirety of the Fresh Finds collection a clear visual direction that was distinct and recognizable. 

Editorial Design saw this as a unique opportunity to collaborate with It’s Nice That. Known for championing emerging creatives and showcasing the most exciting and engaging work online, we came together to commission independent visual artists to create artwork to support the playlist collection. 

Fresh Finds Flagship, visual artist: Isu Kim

Concept: Teenage bedroom

To capture the energy and momentum behind the playlist and the artists featured, it felt like a natural progression to gravitate towards something with tactile and DIY qualities. Early inspiration for the redesign was drawn from the seemingly collective and familiar teenage experience of discovering new music and self-expression: covering the walls of your room with posters of your favorite band, collaging cutouts from magazines, and collecting pins and stickers from live shows. 

Utilizing this concept as the overarching narrative for Fresh Finds helped guide the direction and opened up possibilities for the artwork to evoke various levels of individuality through the nature of DIY.

Execution: The artists behind the artwork

With the 9 genre-specific playlists alongside the Fresh Finds flagship playlist, it was important to capture the nuances of each genre while having all of the playlists in the set still feel connected to one another.

Fresh Finds Hip Hop, visual artist: Alfie Kungu, Fresh Finds Country, visual artist: Fanélie Muselier

Together with It’s Nice That, we sought out different independent visual artists that each have their own distinct styles and work with various DIY mediums. Ranging from collaged paper cutouts to felt-tip pens, the variation in style and mediums allowed for each playlist to retain a unique level of individuality.

Fresh Finds The Wave, visual artist: Crystal Zapata, Fresh Finds Experimental, visual artist: Thami Nabil

10 genres, 10 visual artists, 100 unique artworks

Each visual artist was paired with a genre and tasked to create a series of 10 original artworks. This resulted in a dynamic system, consisting of 100 unique artworks across the entire playlist collection. The covers are updated weekly by switching and highlighting new artists. The broad array of artworks enables the visual language of Fresh Finds to support different types of artist imagery while also making each week feel like a new and fresh experience.     

Release: Rollout and launch

For the launch of the rebrand on-platform, we commissioned visual artist Adriana Lozano to illustrate 10 artist portraits — highlighting each artist’s personal expression and individuality through her signature color pencil style.

Fresh Finds artist portraits by Adriana Lozano

Wrapping up

The project succeeded in what it was aiming to do: create a flexible design system that could represent different types of sounds and artists. A major factor in the success of this project was our collaboration with Its Nice That. 

Thanks to their large network, the partnership enabled us to easily find multiple, highly-talented visual artists who could create artwork that would enhance the Fresh Finds experience. By bringing together a group of visual designers, each with their own approach and style, we could align the new artwork with our goals for the Fresh Finds playlist collection: to support and highlight new and upcoming artists.

Additional Reading

Read more about the creative process for the artist portraits and playlist cover artworks on It’s Nice That.

Music artists featured in the article

Jaguar Jonze, young friend, Green-House, Softcult, Whookilledkenny, Wallice, Ekkstacy, NOT THE MAIN CHARACTERS, Chicocurlyhead, Pilar Victoria, Sans Soucis, Julia Wolf, Unusual Demont, Sophiya, Brittney Spencer, Fana Hues, Ana Roxanne, Tom The Mail Man, AG Club, Bayli, Clubhouse, TSHA, Lyra Pramuk, Abby Anderson, Chappaqua Wrestling, Gus, Miloe

Thank you to everyone who made this project possible

All of the artists: Adriana Lozano, Isu Kim, Alfie Kungu, Crystal Zapata, Paola Saliby, Jim Klok, Robin Clifford Ellis, Fanélie Muselier, Antonio Carrau, Rewina Beshue, Thami Nabil

Editorial Design: Doug Richard for bringing this collaboration together and creating this project, Loren Lee for organizing and planning, everyone on Editorial Design for the support and feedback. 

Music Editorial: Lizzy Szabo, Will Nellis, and the entire Fresh Finds team.

It's Nice That: Elsa Mueller, Josephine New, Vanessa Pike, Olivia Hicks.

Credits

Alessandra Bautista

Senior Art Director

Alessandra is a Senior Art Director based in New York on the Editorial Design team.

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