KRGB

A passion project with licensing fees
I love me some indie music. I encountered KCMU (now KEXP, Seattle) back in the late 90s, and I've been gushing over indie music and its artists ever since. In 2002 I got involved with college radio station KZUU (Washington State University) as a DJ and then eventually co-Music Director, running an indie variety show, reviewing music, and just generally having a blast. When I moved away from college I left that behind until 2010 when I ran a similar type of show at KBCS (Bellevue, WA). I definitely got the rookie time-slot, and just couldn't balance a full-time job with a show that ran in the middle of the night, so it didn't last long. I'm now at it again, this time with some friends. We started KRGB in 2019. This meant a lot of illustration, design, and user experience challenges that I have been excited to take on.

Branding

The “RGB” in “KRGB” is a nod to what most of us involved with the station do for work, which is to design and build digital experiences. For this reason, I accentuated the “Red”, “Green”, and “Blue” colors in the logo. To further reflect how RGB colors are used in digital environments, I made each character overlap with with the ones next to it, presenting a more complete color spectrum. The three RGB dots are used for small situations like an avatar or favicon.
KRGB logo, t-shirt with KRGB logo on it, and KRGB avatar
You can get this t-shirt on Cotton Bureau.

Website v1

For the first 9 months or so, the station’s offerings were just getting started, so the main feature on the homepage was the live stream. I designed the website to feature information for the currently playing song (album artwork, artist, and title) near a primary play button as the hero. This was achieved via Squarespace—using lots of custom CSS and embedded code blocks.
KRGB v1 homepage Macbook preview
KRGB v1 homepage multiple examples

Website v2

Fast forward a few months. We discovered a service called Mixcloud that could handle all the licensing issues with archived shows. Archived shows are a big deal because they offer listeners the opportunity to hear shows on-demand. It is arguably the most modern feature a radio station can provide. With this new capability now available to our listeners, I redesigned the homepage to visually split the hero into a live stream button and an action driving traffic to the KRGB Mixcloud page, where all (recorded) past shows are available on-demand. Once we figured out how to offer archived shows, we abandoned the large, current album artwork feature in favor of a split-focus homepage that features both the live stream and shows available on-demand.
KRGB v2 homepage Macbook example
KRGB v2 homepage multiple examples

Website v3

Version 3 is where we are today. I had always been unhappy with the previous methods of delivering the live stream. In versions 1 and 2, the primary play button played directly from the homepage. This was fine if you never left the homepage, but visiting other pages would disconnect the feed. Alternatively, there was a pop-out player which opened a small window independent from the website. This works well for some users. But not everyone wants a new window to open, and some browsers even prevent it. In version 3, I took the plunge into the world of javascript-powered single-page applications. This is well over my head technically, but somehow I got a version up and running. There were some serious javascript bugs that needed fixing by the time I did my part, and fortunately, a developer friend helped us out with that. Now this glorious display of ingenuity can run a live feed while visitors peruse its pages without ever disconnecting. Beautiful. There's also a neat feature where a user can expand open the currently-playing information, showing more detail about the current song and a list of recently played tracks.
KRGB v3 homepage preview in Macbook
KRGB v3 homepage full length
KRGB v3 homepage top player expanded openKRGB v3 listen pageKRGB v3 schedule pageKRGB v3 merch page

Show artwork

I typically help new DJs get their show artwork set up, either by providing art direction on what they create themselves or by designing it for them. Below are examples of covers I designed and/or illustrated, including iterations of my show, Aimless, which I consistently use as an opportunity to try out new design & illustration ideas.
Show art for AimlessShow art for Jukebox DreamsShow art for Slightly FloatingAimless flamingo artworkAimless fox show artAimless octopus show artShow art for Friday FeelingsSlow mix show artFast mix show artAimless flowers show artAimless Best of 2019 show artAimless Christmas Special show artShow art for Spectral CafeAimless All of 2021 show artShow art for Out of Focus
KRGB logo mug

Stay tuned

In addition to the music, the graphic works draws me to KRGB as a large, ongoing project. If you want to see where this goes, keep checking in here or directly at KRGB.fm.