KVPR launches new logo, station branding
It’s not every day that an established business gets a new logo, so the launch of a new logo for KVPR (and for KVPR Classical) is cause for celebration. The new logo, which formally launched November 17th, presents a fresh, new look for one of the San Joaquin Valley’s most established and respected media brands. New colors and a modern, sans serif typeface bring a new look to the station.
The new KVPR logo marks the first time in over 22 years that the station has debuted a new logo design. The new logo launched on November 17th simultaneous with a new KVPR.org website, and an update to the KVPR mobile app.
In addition to launching the new logo across all of our various media products, we're also revising our branding. While Valley Public Radio remains the formal name for our business, all of our content - from digital to broadcast - all will now be branded as KVPR, or a variation of that name: KVPR, KVPR Classical, KVPR.org and the KVPR app. In keeping with that theme, this publication, formerly known as Audiophile will now be known as the KVPR Magazine.
President and General Manager Joe Moore said the new logo design and branding is an important step forward for the station. "Over the years, we've gone by so many different names: KVPR, FM89, VPR, KPRX, Valley Public Radio, NPR, it has led to clutter, and at times confusion," said Moore. "As more and more users access our content online, FM89 has proven to be less than adequate as a name for the station. There are multiple "FM89s" broadcasting on 89.X frequencies across the country, and the term isn't really relevant for non-broadcast content."
Likewise, while our logo for the last 22 years has been "VPR" another NPR station in Vermont also uses the "VPR" name and owns the digital assets and web domain associated with it. "We've even had our donors mistakenly visit their website and accidentally send their donations to the Green Mountain State, thinking they were on our website," said Moore. "So a logo that matches our name has become a top priority."
The growth of the station, with its all new 24/7 classical channel also helped necessitate a new branding strategy. "Now that we have two stations with two different programming schedules, we also found we needed a more precise and unified branding strategy than simply saying 'listen on FM89,'" said Moore. "Given that our broadcast and digital brands already used the KVPR name, we chose to consolidate around that name. It's short, it's easy to remember, and has wide name recognition among our audience," said Moore.
Work on the new logo and branding began almost a year ago, but the goal for a fresh new look and brand dates back several years. “We had wanted to make this move back in 2016 when we moved to our new broadcast center, but the timing wasn’t right. Then with the death of station General Manager Mariam Stepanian in 2018, and the onset of COVID-19, plans to give our brand a new visual identity were further delayed,” said Moore.
The station formally began the rebranding and logo design process last December, with outreach to the station’s advisory council, member surveys, and internal workshops with staff. The station hired Bertz-Rosa Strategy & Creative earlier this year to develop different logo alternatives, and worked to coordinate the timing of this refresh with NPR’s Digital Services team, and the re-launch of a new KVPR.org website.
A New Look
Consistent with the NPR logo, the new KVPR logo features a lowercase sans serif font. The new design is intended to work equally well in print and digital formats and to be legible even in a small format and when co-branded with NPR or other logos. The letter “p” in the logo also features a clever but elegant design detail – a play button – that instantly encourages the viewer to listen, and reinforces the station’s digital media presence. The new logo also includes a more contemporary color scheme of gray, blue and orange hues presents a new look for station visuals.
“This new look signals where we are headed. We are a digital media company, and with just four letters, you can find our content on any platform or device you choose, anywhere in the valley or anywhere in the world,” said Moore.
Station Logos 1975-2021
This logo predates the issuance of our first broadcast license and the KVPR call letters. The ash tree in our original logo and in our legal name “White Ash Broadcasting” references the ash tree, which in Spanish is fresno. Ironically, the white ash is not native to California. The “tree logo” was in use from approximately 1975-1980. Note that the logo specifically references Fresno and not the entire San Joaquin Valley, as it predates our presence in Bakersfield.
This logo was in use from 1980-1993, a time of considerable change at the radio station, as we moved from Van Ness Ave, to P Street, to West Shaw Ave. in Fresno. During this time period we also launched a translator station in Bakersfield, and eventually the full-power station KPRX on 89.1. Note the references to Fresno are gone and the call letters KVPR and dial position of FM89 make their first appearance. The logo graphic also conveys information about the station: the background resembles rolling hills or the pages of a musical score and the treble clef references the station’s musical programming.
This logo was in use from 1993-1999 and was an evolution of the prior “treble clef” logo. It launched around the same time that the station moved into a new facility on West Shaw Avenue in Northwest Fresno. This is the first time VALLEY PUBLIC RADIO was spelled out in our logo as our official name. FM89 remains, as does a smaller version of the treble clef logo. Note that the "FM89" branding is given equal weight with the KVPR and KPRX call letters. The latter marks the first reference to the KPRX call letters, which launched in 1987.
The VPR Logo: 1999 - 2021
A serif font spells out Valley Public Radio in all caps below a stylized and layered two-color “VPR” designed to reference musical notes. Of note, while this logo is dominated by the VPR letters, we do not otherwise use “VPR” on-air or online to refer to the station. While this inconsistency wasn’t likely a consideration when this was designed in 1999, in the digital age, became an issue. Another NPR member station uses the “VPR” name and branding for their broadcast and digital services – Vermont Public Radio, and has a similar “VPR” logo. Clearing up this inconsistency was one of the goals of this rebranding project.