Using new media to make a bang

Cincinnati’s LumenoCity delivered more than a first-of-its-kind visual and musical experience. It inspired people to visit the heart of the city and became a symbol for Cincinnati’s transformation.


Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra


Nonprofits & institutions

Digital & social media
Branded environments

The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (CSO) offered wonderful performances to the community, but was only attracting a narrow segment of the population to its concerts. When Landor was asked to participate in an event to welcome the CSO’s new conductor, Louis Langrée, we knew the orchestra needed to broaden its audience to attract younger patrons, and that the city needed to secure broad public support for a tax levy to renovate the orchestra’s historic Music Hall. We decided to introduce the orchestra to a new audience by pushing the boundaries of media experience.

Our idea: pairing a jaw-dropping architectural projection on the façade of Cincinnati’s iconic Music Hall with a free, live symphony performance on the adjoining park lawn. From its inception, the concept was full of possibility: sound and light, architecture and art, tradition and technology.

Landor branded the event LumenoCity, capturing both the literal and symbolic aspects of the project. Technically speaking, we were beaming 400,000 lumens from 12 cinema-style projectors onto the deep red brick of gothic-style Music Hall, a performance center built in 1878. The name also captured the spirit of the urban renaissance Cincinnati has experienced in recent years. Renovating Washington Park, the “front yard” of Music Hall, has been a focal point of the city’s effort to revitalize its downtown.

On two consecutive nights in August 2013, Langrée led the orchestra in a 40-minute repertoire as Landor’s custom animation and three-dimensional graphics interacted with architectural details and coordinated precisely with the musical performance.

“From the initial brainstorming sessions, through the entire animation production process, we had to keep in mind that the music could vary in tempo at the conductor’s whim, and had to account for that. The attention to detail paid off, and the crowd, fitting into every possible available spot in the park, fell silent as the music and visuals began,” said Sean Hafer, Landor’s Cincinnati design director for LumenoCity.




Strauss, Tchaikovsky, Ravel, and other classical masterpieces were coupled with mind-blowing graphics that captured the intent and emotion of the score. Landor’s media and graphic design teams produced every aspect of the project in-house and succeeded in delighting a crowd of over 35,000, most of whom had never before attended a CSO performance.

Narrating a strong brand story that is consumer-relevant in today’s environment has become increasingly challenging, but new media helped the CSO tell its story in multisensory ways. LumenoCity stayed true to the orchestra’s brand positioning while creating transformative moments for its audience.


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“[LumenoCity] was a tour de force of Cincinnati’s creative community and a way to bring thousands into the inner city… it felt like a tipping point.”

–John Faherty,

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