Cued: Case Study

A fun way to share music with friends.

Here's how Cued works: you register to a group along with any number of your friends: each week, you submit a song you've been listening to (new music, like less than a month old) and then the following week, everyone on the list gets a brand new YouTube playlist from their friends. Then, everyone votes on which track was the "__iest" (a random quality selected each week, for example: "Which song went the hardest" or "Which song would your dad like the most?" The idea is to help friends discover new music without being lumped into the curatorial boxes of big internet music platforms like Spotify or YouTube. Plus, it's fun to hear from your friends!
Starting from the barebones of an HTML project, I worked with Cued's designer and developer, Alex Carusillo, to forge a visual identity for the then unnamed music sharing tool. We had a number of ideas that came up after our inital discussion, and I presented a number of different directions to form a visual identity.
We started getting toward the idea that this is a newsletter, and could look like a newspaper– a quick fix of information that comes regularly, and would borrow the visual language of both traditional print media, and the ever-faster age of the internet.
This simple "melon" motif kept coming up from even our initial probes; the idea of fruit– something you share, something that comes in slices, something that is sweet and colorful and part of a whole – this would become a major part of Cued's identity, but also almost it's namesake.
The newspaper/periodical feel seemed a little dated, so we started moving toward a more vibrant, colorful design. The name "Cued" came up– It was short, sweet, and exists mostly in a musical vernacular.
There it is! We got to our final design after lots of iterations. We still wanted something to reference back to that periodical/magazine feel, so I came up with the "flavor" system.
A dynamic, color-changing CSS design that constantly keeps Cued fresh– making different "flavored" designs arise for each independent visit to Cued pages and emails. The same applied to these illustrations that support many of the pages. (see below)
In various flavors.
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