When you think of techno, what immediately comes to mind? Go on, think on it, we'll wait right here.
Done? Well, if you're not a fan, you'll maybe be thinking along these lines: Noise. Distortion. Repetition. Samey. Impenetrable. But if you are, then everything changes: Simple. Rhythmic. Orchestral. Enticing. Deliberate.
The contrast between these two perceptions couldn't be more chasmic, and guess what, that's life, right? There's always two sides to every argument, debate, discussion, or belief, and techno is certainly not an exception. No matter what you think, there is always going to be somebody who believes exactly the opposite.
Techno started life back in the late 80s in Detroit and now enjoys a massive following of all its permutations right across the globe. Despite this, it manages to stay just enough off-radar that it hasn't yet been commodified, gentrified, or paraphrased, in an effort to make it more palatable for the masses to consume. To its purveyors, therein lies its charm.
Push Back started life in a basement. In a world of Ed Blunts, Adele Bublés, and Rhi-yoncés, this once a month night offered a glimpse into techno, a world that wasn't dominated by the trend of the moment. In the early days, hustling was imperative to keeping the thing alive. And hustle they did. As with any young upstart, they had to make their mark, and before long, the graft was paying off. Soon enough, that basement was no longer big enough.
We've all hustled. To be honest, no matter at what point of the life cycle your enterprise, organisation, or business is, we're all essentially hustling, just at different scales. But every so often, hustle alone doesn't cut it, and something has to be done to jump the pack.
So by the time Push Back's basement wasn't big enough anymore, what they needed was something that would propel them to the next level whilst retaining the integrity of what made them distinctive.
We were introduced to Push Back right at this intersection. We'd been following them for some time, and were pretty sure there was something we could offer.
Our concept was to speak to the essence of what makes techno techno, to put that front and centre of the next phase of Push Back's journey: a new logo, a refreshed brand identity, and a blast from the past, were what we had in mind.
For the logo, we wanted to highlight the simplicity of techno, by stripping back everything not required or needed, leaving the bare essentials to speak for themselves. Nothing more than one rectangle pushing against another, became the ultimate representation not only of Push Back, but the music itself. Revision after revision saw us clearing out the cruft, pairing back the ornamental elements, and eventually doing away with anything that wasn't absolutely neccesary – techno in a nutshell.
For the rebrand, it was important to capture the urban, edgy, understated presence of techno, and reinterpret it for the larger audience Push Back hoped to reach. Again, we found ourselves pairing back elements until the colour pallette contained nothing more than a base and an accent: a beautiful matte grey and an invigorating green, mimicking the flurescent streetlights of innercity life and the freneticism and mystique of the club.
Given reflecting their roots was so important to Push Back, we subtly worked this into the print materials with a topdown, bird's-eye view of Bristol, the city where the basement became too small; just enough that it provided authenticity and genesis, but not too much that it couldn't be interpreted for more exciting cities around the world.
The final element of Push Back's reinvention came into being through a moment of pure serendipity. During our conversations, it became clear that whilst growing ticket services such as Skiddle were incredibly important to growing their crowd, they felt something had been lost in no longer being able to collect ticket stubs, as keepsakes and momentos of a fantastic night. So, for those buying on the door, for members, and for those paying through more traditional ticketing means, we created a beautiful ticket for their first night in Sheffield, to celebrate their venture into new and exciting cities.
Building a brand takes time. And when it comes expansion, ensuring you take forward what made your brand so popular in the first place, but reimagining it for a new and expanded audience, is critical.