© 2023 KALW 91.7 FM Bay Area
KALW Public Media / 91.7 FM Bay Area
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

The story behind KALW's award-winning design

A year ago, KALW introduced a bold, new look. "Honestly, I've never made a logo as weird as this one," explains its designer Barney Stepney from COLLINS. We recently sat down with him to hear about his process and what it's like to see his work in the world.

Scroll through the case study (above).

At the end of 2020, KALW took a chance. We were about to turn 80 and wanted to make sure we looked our best. So we put out an RFP — a request for proposal — and invited the best design studios and marketers in the Bay Area to rebrand our local public radio station. We were floored by the number and quality of studios that answered our call.

In the end, we selected Brian Collins and his whip smart and wildly inventive firm COLLINS. And when he introduced us to Barney, we knew we were in great hands. Barney may present as quiet and mannered, but his design mind is ferocious and the system he crafted is fierce, flexible, and a blast to work with.

A year later, KALW has been making the most of this incredible new design system. And COLLINS' work on the project has been honored by Fast Company with two Innovation By Design Awards for branding and graphic design.

KALW wants to thank Barney and the whole team, including COLLINS Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer Brian Collins, Business Manager Alex Wallace, Executive Assistant Katya Braxton, as well as the team from KALW including former General Manager Tina Pamintuan; Liz MacDonald, Director of Strategy: Music and Culture; and David Boyer, Director of Programming (and former Creative Director).