Generative Brand: ›DVSM Symposium‹

Corporate Design: ›DVSM Symposium‹


The 25th international student symposium of the Dachverband der Studierenden der Musikwissenschaft e.V. took place on 12 through 15 January 2012 at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz, Austria. It is organized by students of the University of Music and Performing Arts and the Karl-Franzens-University Graz.

The interdisciplinary symposia of the DVSM e.V. offer students and young scholars (up to early postdoc-stage) a platform to get to know each other and exchange views on the current issues of the music studies. Students and young scholars from all disciplines, as well as musicians and artists, are invited to take part in and contribute to the symposium. The discussion of methodological and epistemological questions in respect to current research projects is explicitly welcomed.


Academic disciplines that don’t want to get stuck in „normal science’s“ (Thomas S. Kuhn) routine have to reflect on their methods and subject them to constant criticism.The symposium is devoted to this task, which is a necessary precondition for excellent academic practice. What does „method“ mean in the music studies? How are methods and theories related to each other? Do the music studies have methods of their own or do they use im- ported methods from other disciplines? What current and creative methodical innovations are there? Are there valid criteria to judge methods or are we forced into a methodical anarchism along the lines of Paul Feyerabend’s „Anything goes!“? How is the development of methods to be judged from the perspective of the history of science and humanities? What influence have the diverse „turns“ had on the musicological methods? How are the epistemological claims of artistic-based research to be judged in respect to the the music studies?

Generative Brand Logo

The creation of the vidual identity for DVSM Symposion is an example for the use of generative design.
The basic idea was to use a structure of several bundles of curved lines that resemble the visual appearance of waveforms as well as the subtitle of the symposion »Über Wege zum Ziel«.

To generate the fundamental parts of my structure I used Processing. I adapted a script from the book Generative Gestaltung from my former fellow student Hartmut Bohnacker of HFG Schwäbisch Gmünd, which basically generates a mouse-follower. By building up upon that an leaving the mouse-follower part, I  created my own little script »DVSM_Generator«. It draws complex curved lines by combining vertices.

The resulting structure is exported as a PDF-file and transferred to Adobe Illustrator. In AI I chose several bundles of curved lines and combined them to a new composition. My goal there was to have several clusters of „paths“, with each of them summing up to a middle way, thus representing the different voices of a scientific discourse and their addition to the narration of knowledge.

The initial plan was that everytime the logo is used, the bundles of vertices are combined in an unique manner. Therefore not only the design of the logo would have been generative, but also the iteration of possibly endless variants of its basic scheme. Sadly, this couldn`t be done in this project and I had to wait for the coinfinity-project to realize a more advanced approach to generative design.

Generative elements of the visual brand. Created through Processing.

// --------------------------------------------------
// Generative Brand Creation
// Language: Processing
// Author: Andreas Pirchner
// Script inspired by ›Generative Gestaltung‹
// Harmut Bohnacker et. al. 
// --------------------------------------------------

int formResolution = 20;
int stepSize = 2;
float centerX, centerY, speedX;
float[] x = new float[formResolution];
float[] y = new float[formResolution];

void setup(){
   size(800, 600);

   centerY = 0;
   speedX = 0.3;

   float x1 = 100;
   float y1 = 100;
   float x2 = 700;
   float y2 = 100;
   for(int i=0; i<formResolution; i++) {
      x[i] = lerp(x1, x2, i/(float)formResolution);
      y[i] = lerp(y1, y2, i/(float)formResolution);
   stroke(0, 50);

void draw(){
   if (centerY < 400){
      centerY += speedX;

      for (int i=0; i<formResolution; i++){
         x[i] += 0;
         y[i] += random(-stepSize,stepSize);

      curveVertex(x[0], y[0]+centerY);
      for (int i=0; i<formResolution; i++){
      curveVertex(x[i], y[i]+centerY);
   curveVertex(x[formResolution-1], y[formResolution-1]+centerY);

Colour Scheme


Gill Sans was used for captions and titles as well as for continous texts. Its calm elegance and serisous beauty is thought to add to the theoretical and intellectual topic of the symposium.

Only for titles, Gill Sans is set in capital letters (the continous text in the detailed description of the talks would have been unreadable in capitals), emphasising its geometrical appearance, referencing the ancient greek sciences and the link between geometry and logic.