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Stern grove festival mucho

Stern Grove Festival

Founded in 1938, Stern Grove is the oldest music festival in San Francisco. Located in the heart of the city in a gorgeous eucalyptus grove, Stern Grove Festival offers FREE concerts featuring world-renowned artists from a wide range of genres, for 10 Sundays throughout the summer. They approached Mucho for a brand refresh that could help appeal to a younger audience, would be flexible enough to work with any genre of music and to establish the festival as a world-class event.

The Challenge

Having been established in 1938 and being located in San Francisco, the festival naturally has a loyal following of an older generation and a look and feel of the hippy culture long associated with the city. 

Moving forward and in the hands of the younger generation of the family, Mucho was approached to create a more modern, fresher, globally appealing identity for the festival. However, in achieving this, the new identity couldn’t alienate the already established loyal following that it has appreciated over the years. This in turn would allow Stern Grove to approach more modern artists and even expand into new music genres or types of events in the future.

Mucho SG Logo Before After
Mucho SG Inspiration Logo

The Solution

We wanted to establish a brand identity that was modern, fresh and flexible, but more importantly something that only Stern Grove could truly own. One of the most spectacular aspects of this festival is the location. Nestled and surrounded by Eucalyptus trees, concert goers line up early in the morning to grab their favorite spots between the trees. There’s a real community aspect to this festival that has been established over the years—A Free concert for the community of San Francisco. Therefore we created a symbol which starts with a simple tree icon rotated to represent a grove, a community and a vibrating graphic device which can be animated and cropped to represent sound and work with multiple music genres.

The Sound of Trees

The symbol, while representing the grove and community was brought to life as a circular graphic equalizer, reacting to any type of music. We worked with Thru to create a web application whereby any music could be played and the symbol would react. For future events (and more work to do here) we envision large digital screens behind each performer including live interaction with the brand.

An Evergreen Identity

An evergreen suite of elements was developed to be maintained every year, such as the logo, a new typeface, a primary color palette, signage, grids and layouts. However to allow flexibility into the system and to give each year it’s own identity, different illustrators can be commissioned to create artwork and a yearly secondary color palette. For 2023 we worked with renowned global illustrator Karan Singh to create a suite of imagery related to each artist and the overall theme of nature and the outdoors.

Mucho SG Feel Free 2
Mucho SG Beanie
Mucho SG Copy
Mucho SG Tshirt
Mucho SG Santigold Portrait
Mucho SG B Card
Mucho SG Vinyl Cover
Mucho SG Santigold
Mucho SG Entry Sign
Mucho SG Entry Arrow
Mucho SG Tent Butterfly
Mucho SG Gate Sign
Mucho SG Wrist Band
Mucho SG Astand Signagev2
Mucho SG Lanyard
Mucho SG Fence Banner