Showcasing Youth Expression & Professional Journalism
Our studio set out to build much more than a new organization website.
Youth Radio needed a complete overhaul of the dated system used for organizing, categorizing and displaying their extensive multimedia content. Front Group was tasked with conceptualizing an intuitive and flexible framework for a new system and developing the complete constellation of sites that would make up a new forward-looking Youth Radio web presence.
We started by reworking the logo with an eye towards setting the tone for a significant visual identity overhaul.
Everyone agreed that the circular YR mark should stay a central part of new logo as a sign of continuity and brand consistency. But the typography, color and composition needed a fresh revision that could help create guidelines for a complete and integrated identity extended across the entire web presence.
To the left is how the previous logo appeared on the outside of the Youth Radio building and below are some of our initial mockups for a revised version:
The Final Revised Logo
This updated version uses a clean, geometric, sans serif typeface as the logotype set in all caps italic to convey the forward thinking and exciting trajectory of Youth Radio. Youth is set in an extra bold weight while Radio maintains a regular weight. This signifies that Youth Radio is proud of its history and brand but is by no means limited to radio as a medium for communication.
Completing the Identity
Using the updated logo as our guide, we fleshed out an extended color palette and typographic family based on Mark Simonson’s Proxima Nova that helped form the foundation of the new identity online and in print:
An exciting challenge for the development of a successful new website was the need to connect the various sides of Youth Radio together in a succinct and logical way.
One one hand, Youth Radio is a media production company that is known by millions across the country for it’s nationally syndicated radio content. On the other hand, it is a youth development organization that serves hundreds of young people in Oakland and elsewhere each year. During the course of our research, we identified that the single best way for someone to grasp how all these aspects of organization fit together is to visit the actual Youth Radio building in the Uptown area of Oakland. From this finding, we crafted the site architecture around the logic of three main rooms: the Newsroom, the Classroom & the Creative Studio. This gives website users a similar experience as a visitor getting a tour through the actual building.
We fine tuned the relationships between the three rooms and the various sides of the Youth Radio web presence using an evolving network diagram as a conceptual mapping tool.
Youth Radio needed an accessible way to archive and showcase the wide range of award-winning audio content that the organization is known for.
Front Group built a custom audio player that is fully integrated into the organization’s new website and the WordPress CMS. The player’s featured selection is easily curated by Youth Radio staff and the audio content is now easily accessible to all visitors to the site.
In developing the new Youth Radio web presence, our studio created a flexible system for organizing and updating an impressive array of dynamic topical “desks” on subjects ranging from juvenile justice to mobile app development. Each functions as its own blog that makes all types of content easily accessible through a fully indexed system and with a full range of cross posting capabilities.
Youth Radio turned a page in its history when it launched its comprehensive new web presence in the summer of 2013. For the first time ever, the full scope of the innovative organization was on display and easily accessible to those familiar with the organization and new visitors alike. The compliments quickly began flowing in along with the support necessary to expand the organization’s important programs. Youth Radio is now confidently positioned for the next exciting step in its development as well as the development of the hundreds of young people that come through its doors every year.