Paul Warthen


SERVICES  Identity Suite Development | Brand Identity Guidelines | Collateral Design | Album Cover Art | Streaming Service Asset Design | Social Media Asset Design | Social Media Marketing Design | Website Design | Apparel Design

THE STORYWhen you’re passionate about your work, it shows through in all you do. For professional pianist Paul Warthen, that was the case in almost every way. There was just one thing missing. Paul was ready for an elevated brand that expressed his passion and experience honed over 40 years of playing upscale restaurants, lounges, and corporate and private events. To start, he needed a brand identity that set him apart in a crowded competitive market. His goal: to boost brand awareness and adoption, increase gig bookings in the DC, Maryland, and Virginia area, and build followers on popular streaming services and relevant social media platforms. Paul’s point of difference is his signature playing style and the passionate flair and jazzy interpretations he brings to multiple decades of popular music. His richly layered sound, coupled with the intricate workings of the piano itself served as a powerful jumping-off point for concepting and design.

I hired Lisa Sirbaugh Creative to develop the new brand and identity for my piano business. I've had the pleasure of working with Lisa on other projects, which all turned out amazing and I was very eager to work with her again. The discovery process she takes you through in the beginning makes you dig deep to answer questions as to who you are and what message you ultimately want to convey to the public. She then diligently uses that information to design a custom work of art, 100% in line with your vision. She has a unique ability to make the words you put on paper come to life through the brand identity, color palette, and brand story to blend it all together. I am impressed beyond words with the final outcome and wish there were more than 5-stars to give you. Thank you for everything!

PAUL WARTHEN | PROFESSIONAL PIANIST

THE SOLUTIONWe began with our brand discovery and research process to develop a brand brief that served as the foundation for our creative work. We studied the competition to better understand how Paul could truly differentiate himself within the industry. And we took a deep dive into the instrument itself, studying the piano's history, body styles and anatomy, as well as its intricate inner workings. Working closely with Paul, we developed a series of brand attributes that best conveyed the Paul Warthen brand through the new visual identity, color palette, and each brand touchpoint. These attributes included professional, upscale luxury, refined elegance, and modern classic. When it came to brand identity development we drew inspiration from the piano itself, creating a brandmark that echoes its serendipitous P-shape. The mark's outer framework reflects the piano’s case and keyboard; its inner linework mimics that of the piano’s cast iron plate. For the logotype, we selected an elegant modern typeface that draws upon the thick-and-thin strokes of musical notes and customized it to align with the brandmark. Inspired by this talented artist we developed the slogan, "Living and Playing with Passion" which speaks to Paul’s philosophy as a musician and as a person. Along with the brand identity suite, project deliverables included collateral design, album cover art, streaming service and social media asset design, social media marketing design, website design, and apparel design. To cap everything off, photography and music video production combines emotive, classic, and refined imagery of this musician doing what he loves most. American musician Tom Lehrer famously said, “Life is like a piano. What you get out of it depends on how you play it.” And when you play it as honestly in your branding and marketing as you do in real life, it makes the most beautiful music.


THE SOUVENIRSWorld Brand Design Society Feature for Branding