MakeMusic, a leader in the industry for more than 20 years, owns four primary brands in music software notation and technology: Finale, SmartMusic, MusicXML and Garritan. Capsule was asked to participate in strategy sessions for brand work that was already underway and being determined by the MakeMusic management team. Capsule’s role was to use these existing constructs in order to further articulate the fundamentals of each brand’s audience, visual language, key messaging and promise.

Make Music green logo and word mark design on white background.
Four pages from Make Music's brand guidelines with graphic design, messaging and color standards.

The next step, designing a new brand language for each of the product brands in addition to the corporate brand. The design effort began with an exploration of examples in software (Apple, Microsoft, Adobe, etc) from which MakeMusic could draw indicators in order to design a compelling brand language.

Make Music display design mockups for trade show with branded podium, logo and backdrop.

System design concepts followed, which included logos, load screens, virtual software boxes and load icons for each product brand. Five concepts were presented and refined to eventually achieve a new visual language for the corporate brand and each of the product brands.

Make Music sub-brand system design with Finale, Smartmusic, MusicXML and Aria player branding and colors.
Computer monitor screen with Make Music website home page design and branding.


"From strategy to design, Capsule helped position MakeMusic as an innovator of music software that empowers people to bring their music to life. Not only did they provide a visual solution for existing brands, but also a road map for future acquisitions. Capsule was able to address our unique and complex problems, designing MakeMusic's brand language to be as innovative as our products." — Barry Brown, MakeMusic, SVP Product & Marketing

Make Music icons and collateral for three musical genres including harps, jazz and big band, and world.
Five graphic icons for Make Music sub-genres in red, yellow, orange, blue and green.
Tablet showcasing Make Music software for Aria player with branding and piano exercise.

The design effort was both detailed and impactful for the entire MakeMusic brand experience. It was also exhaustive and will eventually be found on everything from software interfaces and promotional materials to Facebook music contests. The team at MakeMusic is amazing and making all the right improvements to advance the brand, increase sales and retain margin.

Our moms say we should put ourselves out there.