About the Company
KBCU-FM 88.1 is a 24-hour non-commercial, not-for-profit radio station that broadcasts from the campus of Bethel College in North Newton, Kansas. A long-standing Bethel College tradition rooted in the 1930s, KBCU has a wide range of student programming, including rock, hip-hop, alternative, Latin, contemporary Christian and sports talk shows, and reaches all of Newton and much of Harvey County.
About the Identity
KBCU-FM 88.1 wanted an updated style for their radio station. The previous logo was quite outdated and very poorly done, so the design possibilities were wide-open. One of the things manager Tim Buller wanted to push as part of the identity was that KBCU is a real radio station, not just an Internet radio station.
This gave me the idea to use a stylized radio in the logo, which ended up creating “U-bot”, the KBCU mascot. The “U-bot” is not only nice to look at, but also evokes an emotional response, with its “cute” look.
Previous incarnations of the radio station used the slogan “All about U” which also gave me the idea to emphasize the letter U in the logo. Within the design, the triangle between the K and B forms a “play” button, and the B and C are highlighted to show the affiliation with Bethel College.
Part of the launch of the identity design was a “Stay Tuned” promotion, including posters throughout campus, and a promotional teaser website.
- “Real” radio station, not just Internet-based
- Simple / stylized
- Sleek / modern
- Current students (“college age”)
- Prospective students
About the Website
Before the identity design project started, KBCU only had a one-page existence on the Bethel College website, with very little visual interest. The schedule was an ugly PDF file that was updated each semester, and the streaming player was a generic theme.
As part of the project, I broke out the KBCU page and developed a separate site, including an embedded Twitter feed and stylized streaming player (as well as a mini-player). The schedule is now an interactive schedule that updates in real-time to show what program is currently on the air.