Today (July 5) marks the start of a fresh look for UD, the London-based music organization bringing communities around black music together. UD announces its rebranding, delivered by Templo, with the launch of the Talent House, a new state-of-the-art music and dance building unveiled by Sadiq Khan in Stratford. For 20 years, UD has been integral to nurturing black talent and bridging industry gaps, but its “visual identity is from another era; it was static, dated and clunky,” Templo said in a release. outlines in particular that “the old name ‘urban development’ had to be changed”.
“We immediately delved into the name,” explains Pali Palavathanan, Templo co-founder, “which includes the word ‘urban’ – a loaded term with negative connotations used as a lazy catch-phrase to refer to culture and race. ” This name change was at the heart of the assignment from UD (which now stands for United Development). When the brand began working with Templo in the wake of George Floyd’s murder and the “#BlackOutTuesday Instagram craze,” Pali says, this re-evaluation was reflected beyond the pivotal rebranding. Pali says, “This was a precious opportunity to re-correct some of the prejudices about black music culture and what POC wants and needs to see in brands that represent them.”
This drive, to let the public see themselves in the brand, is incorporated into everything; Templo interviewed young talent during development and created Instagram filters in a launch campaign that embodied their music.