Inspired by grime and films like Moonlight, Templo rebrands UD to reflect Black music culture today

Today (5 July) marks the start of a fresh look for UD, the London-based music organisation bringing communities together around Black music. UD is announcing its rebrand, 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 gaps in the industry, yet its “visual identity was from another era; it was static, dated and clunky,” says Templo in a release. In particular, Templo outlines, “its old name ‘urban development’, had to be changed”.
This drive, to allow audiences to see themselves in the brand, is incorporated throughout; Templo conducted interviews with young talent during development and created Instagram filters in a launch campaign that embodied their music.
“We immediately honed in on the name,” Pali Palavathanan, Templo co-founder tells us, “which included the word ‘urban’ – a loaded term with negative connotations used as a lazy catchall to reference culture and race.” This renaming was core to the brief from UD (which now stands for United Development). With the brand beginning work with Templo in the wake of George Floyd’s murder and the “#BlackOutTuesday Instagram fad”, says Pali, this re-evaluation was reflected beyond even the crucial renaming. Pali says: “This was a precious opportunity to readdress some of the preconceptions about Black music culture and what POC want and need to see in brands that represent them.”

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