The power of unique brand gestures

Musical duo Ritornell have worked with designer Katharina Hölzl to create business cards that can be read by a music box to play out different tunes.  Ritornell — comprising of composer Richard Eigner and pianist Roman Gerold — is an experimental music group that combines electronica with a range of extraordinary acoustic instruments including a music box, egg whisks, toilet brushes and chopsticks. They wanted a business card that matched the creativity of their live show so they approached Hölzl.  Hölzl told “The music box that plays an integral part in Ritornell’s concerts seemed to be the perfect medium that could add an acoustic layer to paper and also represent the playful, improvised character of their shows.”  As an integral part of their set list, Ritornell invites the audience to bring along their private musicboxes. Arranged in a big circle, the players’ speed of turning levers is conducted: the results are as shimmering as you would expect.

Katharina Hölzl designed the very special business cards to recreate this playful sonic universe. With the aid of laser assisted milling, nine micro compositions consisting of circles, triangles and Ritornell’s contact information were applied onto a long musicbox paper stripe. Before handing out the cards to interested adressees, each individual subdivision is played back via an especially designed musical box – thus providing every business card receiver with a tailor made musical experience.

The cards were designed to be played by a specific small music box that has been customized by Hölzl with typography.  Hölzl explained that it was a challenge finding paper that would “look beautifully graved and cut by the laser, while fitting through the music box and furthermore being strong enough to meet the requirements of a business card.”

Hölzl created long strips of these cards which collectively played a long piece of music, but could be given out individually. She explained: “I’m especially fond of the idea that everyone who receives one of the cards has a connection to the entire composition.”  Each card had small circles and triangles (which the music box reads) laser-cut into them and distributed like a graphical score. The music box was scaled in C major so, according to Eigner “a lot of visual combinations sound great.”  He added: “The cards work just as well with the separate subdivisions as they do with the whole long paper strip.”

Through the inspired partnership, the trio have taken the ordinary business card, and turned it into something truly extraordinary.  They have created a truly unique brand gesture that is a wonderful example of creative brand storytelling.

If you want ideas on how you too can create a unique brand gesture, why not give us a call?

Nikki Williams
Director of Brand Projects 

Originally spotted in Wired.




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