SoundCloud is a very easy-to-use platform for both musicians and listeners. It’s convenient to search for music in a certain genre or one can stumble upon something completely unique. When creating the service, the founders wanted to provide an ability to exchange music recordings, tracks, interesting sounds, and so on with other people. This is also a platform where beginners and well-known musicians can upload their work and receive feedback in the form of reviews, comments, recommendations, etc. SoundCloud is not just a music sharing platform, but an entire music community. The platform is free to use, although there is a paid version that gives some advantages, such as the ability to listen to music offline and upload longer soundtracks.
Meaning and History
The brand was created in 2007 in Berlin, Germany by two friends, sound engineer Alex Ljung and musician Erik Wahlfors. They drew attention to the fact that the musicians do not have their own platform, and it seems they found a perfect niche. By 2010, SoundCloud had a million people use the service every month. Two years later, that figure had grown to an astonishing 180 million users per month, and the music base reached 150 million tracks. Although the service has gained a huge audience that actively downloads songs and discusses them, it did not bring any profit until 2019. Twitter along with the streaming service Spotify offered to buy the popular service, but both times the parties did not agree. Now, SoundCloud is proud of its independent status and, apparently, does not plan to look for a buyer.
What is SoundCloud?
SoundCloud is an online music distribution platform and social networking site. This popular music streaming service for emerging artists is available as a mobile application or can be used via a browser. SoundCloud is an application that stands out from others because it allows listening to music created by independent artists.
2008 – 2014
The inaugural logo for SoundCloud showcased a monochromatic palette, blending both black and white elements. The iconic cloud, a fundamental element of the logo, was depicted with distinctiveness, featuring thirteen broad vertical stripes on its left side, each with smoothly curved terminations and varying in length. The emblem’s right section was uniformly shaded, resembling a sidelong heart symbol. Positioned beneath was the designation of the music-streaming platform, articulated in Interstate Bold typography, a geometric sans-serif font renowned for its precise and crisp delineation.
This initial design choice conveyed a stark yet appealing aesthetic, seamlessly integrating different geometrical elements to reflect the platform’s identity. The blend of structured and freeform components symbolized the blend of organization and creative freedom inherent to the music-streaming experience provided by the platform. The unique juxtaposition of shapes, from the stripes to the heart-like form, hinted at the platform’s versatility and its capacity to accommodate a diverse range of musical expressions and auditory experiences. The clear, unembellished font selection underscored the platform’s straightforward, user-friendly interface, emphasizing accessibility and usability in navigating through the myriad of musical offerings available. The deliberate incorporation of these elements aimed to create a visually coherent and recognizable brand image, resonating with the platform’s multifaceted user base.
2010 – Today
In 2010, SoundCloud underwent a transformative rebranding process, infusing both the iconic cloud and the letter elements of its logo with a vibrant orange hue. During this transition, a meticulous reshaping of the stripes occurred, broadening them at the center to ensure symmetrical amplifications—resulting in a harmonious alignment at an approximate level. A nuanced gradient was also meticulously applied, revealing upon close examination a subtle transition from a lighter shade at the top to a deeper one at the base. Regarding the lettering, the transformation was solely chromatic, allowing all components of the logo to radiate with newfound brightness.
This modification in design elements communicated a sense of evolution and vibrancy, symbolizing the platform’s continual growth and dynamic essence. The deliberate use of orange suggested energy, creativity, and passion, reflecting the lively and diverse community of creators and listeners that SoundCloud hosts. The symmetrical enhancements and the nuanced gradient demonstrated attention to detail and sophistication in design, reinforcing the brand’s commitment to providing a seamless and aesthetically pleasing user experience. The consistent and cohesive blend of these elements aimed to fortify the brand’s visual identity, ensuring instant recognition and conveying its enduring ethos of fostering musical creativity and connection. The subtle yet impactful enhancements served to solidify SoundCloud’s standing as a vibrant and evolving platform in the competitive music streaming landscape.
2014 – Today
In 2014, a refreshed iteration of the emblem was unveiled, notably absent of the word mark. Post-redesign, solely the distinctive cloud endured, however, its appearance also underwent notable modifications. Initially, the designers opted to decrease the quantity of vertical stripes to a mere eight. Subsequently, these stripes were broadened, bestowing upon each segment an elliptical form with amplified extremities. This logo is showcased in the timeless and sophisticated black shade.
This transformation was a significant departure from the previous designs, presenting a minimalist and modern aesthetic that focused on the essence of the brand — the iconic cloud. By reducing the number of stripes and modifying their shape, the designers aimed to create a more streamlined and contemporary visual identity that could adapt to various contexts and platforms. The choice of classic black as the color scheme imbued the logo with a sense of elegance and versatility, allowing it to stand out and maintain its relevance in the ever-evolving digital landscape. This refined representation of the brand symbolized SoundCloud’s continuous commitment to innovation and its aspiration to resonate with its diverse and growing audience.
Font and Color
Even the name of the font has some connection to the diverse collection of the music posted on the platform. It is called Interstate Bold. It is a very basic font with no serifs or any fancy curves or lines. All the letters are uppercase, which creates one even line. There is only one color present in the logo. It is a bright orange, which is a color that immediately catches the attention and means excitement, creativity, and success.