Visual Identity and Branding for New England Conservatory, 2017.

Can a new visual identity shift an institution towards a future-facing mission and brand? New England Conservatory educates and trains musicians of all ages from around the world, drawing on the talent and deep reservoir of experience of their distinguished faculty. In 2017, the award-winning Boston-based branding/design firm minelli inc tapped Dan Vlahos Design to participate in the development of visual identity concepts for New England Conservatory (NEC). NEC is one of the oldest conservatories in the country, well-known in the music world for its deep ties to the Boston Symphony Orchestra. NEC hired Minelli to develop and implement a new visual identity that would dramatically increase brand awareness and position the school as an innovative leader throughout Boston’s cultural landscape. 

NEC’s focus on excellence, daily music-making and performance, and its unique collaborative culture are central to the brand idea we produced for them: The future of music, made here. In the visual identity we developed, NEC breaks with the music industry’s pervasive use of concert photography. Instead, black-and-white portraits show students with their instruments. A bold pattern of colored bands, inspired by auditory patterns in music, are a dominant graphic element used throughout the identity.


Design firm: minelli Inc.
Design Director: Mark Minelli
Writer/Strategist: Nancy Jenner
Design Direction: Dan Vlahos
Senior Designer: Becca Mayfield

FILED IN: Brand Design