Capitol Studios

Six decades of legacy, three acoustically perfect studios and one stunning site.

A lot of the work we do involves high-level strategy, theory and ideation around big, hairy ideas. At times, this level of design can feel pretty lofty. So when a client comes along and just wants a site that’s simply beautiful to enhance the experience, it can feel like a breath of fresh air.

Capitol Studios is a living legend in the music industry. Having been around since the 50s, they’ve recorded the greats, today’s headliners and tomorrow’s stars. Housed in the basement of the ever-famous Capitol Records building, Capitol Studios is home to the finest, full-service recording experience in the industry: three pitch perfect studios, production suites, mastering services, echo chambers and a roster of the finest audio engineers around. On their shelves sit original, master records of everyone from Frank Sinatra, The Beatles and The Beach Boys to Katy Perry, Green Day and Sam Smith.

They about had it all—except a website they were proud of.

Typically, we’re asked to include a new feature, perform an information architecture overhaul or align their brand, in addition to the site design. However, Capitol turned to us to design a look and feel that reflected their incredible, Grammy-laden legacy. This, folks, was a good, old fashioned visual design challenge.

"We knew we were asking a lot!"

Helping the legendary recording studios’ website make some noise.

We picked up cues from their building’s architecture, details of their impressive studio and a jaw-dropping list of artists who’ve recorded there. We pulled from their extensive photo library, designed an icon system that communicates their services, and helped them tell the story behind their brand partnerships.

The result is a site that feels like it’s turned up to 11; a bit gritty, lovingly worn and chock-full of legacy.

On the backend, the content management system is wildly simple to use, meaning Capitol can spend less time updating content and more time producing hits.

Don’t get us wrong; we love big, juicy strategic challenges. However, this project reminded us how rewarding flexing our visual design skills can be. Thanks to Capitol Studios for giving us an opportunity to rediscover our design roots.

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