John Moeller

Apple Music: Playlist System


Apple Music: Playlist System

Problem: We were tasked by Apple to develop a system for art direction that could serve as a navigation for their curated and hits-based playlists — but still maintain the integrity of artists/genres/music culture.

Solution: We explored both content and design systems, presenting weekly to Apple’s creative leadership. On the systems side, we explored wayfinding through type, iconography, graphic treatments, and visual systems for how music genre could be reduced to navigation. On the content side, we looked at all their top international genres to determine a system, and distilled top trends and cultural reference points for each into visual concepts from literal to conceptual. In the end we put the it all together and created a matrix for playlist creation, providing the core architecture for a scalable system.

Results: The work and strategic thinking was integrated into the Apple Music UI and its continuing evolution.

Creative Direction. Agency: Kettle.

We were asked to provide a better solution than this system based on geometric shapes and a color system.

Along the way we distilled diverse global genres and created visual navigational systems using iconography, CGI, photo treatments, and illustration.

We looked at concepts and strategies for how art direction could be rendered systematically and show the vibrancy of Apple Music.

The strategic thinking on navigational art direction was integrated into the next build of the Apple Music UI. This is the current evolution of Apple Music.