Pink-Pong’s Design History

From weird designs and experiments to a more grown-up brand

This post appeared originally in 2013 on the former Pink-Pong blog. The platform just became four years and we relaunched our website back then. I republished it on my site some years later with little edits.

Pink-Pong was a small Berlin-based platform for youth culture with efforts in blogging, public relations, artist booking, event management, and music publishing. Pink-Pong released 15 records, organized more than 20 club events, and published numerous articles involving interviews, mixtapes, and reviews. As co-founder, I focused on the whole visual representation of the platform, from branding to visual marketing to the website’s UI and development.

The beginning

Creating Pink-Pong’s visual appearance was a long journey from really weird designs and experiments to a more grown-up brand. Let me take you on a little journey through Pink-Pong’s design history:

The adventure started with some self-organized open airs at Mauerpark Berlin (Video) and Rummelsburger Bucht in 2009 which got us some attention. The designs of the promotional materials were intended to be hilarious and super trashy.

Since then, we decided to grow a community around our activities and started blogging regularly. Looking back, I had no idea about CSS, PHP, or other web design technics and just learned them by trying. It was the first time for me to install WordPress on a server and I still remember how I felt after the installation: Like a magician. It was a poorly designed website, but I updated it very quickly with a version that lasted with slight changes until November 2012.

Very first version vs second version

The Logo

There were actually two iterations of the logo. The first attempt was a quick-shot without lots of thoughts. You can still see it on the old website above. In contrast, the second logo was way more modern and inspired by table tennis and sports emblems in general.

I played with the two P’s to let them look like table tennis bats and designed the logo to be usable along various color palettes. Further, it was crafted to be flexible enough for scaling it into smaller or bigger contexts.

Pink Pong Logo Design FelixDorner
Logo ideas during the creation process

The Color Nights

In autumn 2009, we grew our efforts in event management and started The Color Nights. The visual campaign was designed to be simple but effective. Triangles were trendy these days and as part of the pop culture, you had to involve them. I designed the posters with visibility in mind which meant strong contrasts, bold typography, and clear colors. The posters were created between 2009 – 2011:

Becoming a label

After some time, we also became a small booking agency for befriended artists and started publishing music as a label. In September 2010, we released our first EP.

Artworks done for our very first release

Besides our first release, I was also responsible for other cover artworks. I’m pretty proud of how the artwork for Markus Lange’s release turned out: The house in the lake looks like a drawing but is actually a photo I took and edited during my studies in Finland.

To keep our community engaged, we released mixtapes on a monthly basis. Again, shame on me, I used the formerly super hip triangles as a framework for the cover artwork but got more minimal with them during the years.

Here you can see all cover-designs from 2010 – 2013 and might recognize the shift in the design-line as mentioned above:

Final tweaks

In November 2012, the third and final version of the website was released along with some minor identity changes. After four years, Pink-Pong’s design system felt finally grown-up to me: Straight, modern, black & white, simple.

Epilogue

After we released our last major design shift, we had 1.5 more wonderful years where we published more music, blogs, hosted interviews, organized events like this, and even started cooperations with brands. This was the media kit I designed for our pitches back then:

However, my activities for Pink-Pong ended in 2014. The effort for the platform became just too time-intense for what I got out of it and after such a long time, I was just curious to find new challenges. Looking back, Pink-Pong taught me what it really takes to be a freelancer and I will be forever grateful for these times.