First of all, a little disclaimer, I love X Factor. Sorry not sorry to everyone who hates it but I LOVE the fact that anyone, anywhere can apply and has the chance to get to the live shows. I think it provides a fabulous opportunity for people from small towns with no music industry contacts and is a great platform for artists who are at the start of their career to get some publicity.
However, there are some substantial changes that I've love to make to the show.
I've been working on an Artist Branding document recently; one that I can send out to labels to see if any of their artists are interested in having my help, yay!
SO. It sparked the idea for this blog post and I thought it might be fun to explain the process I go through when an artist or band comes to me and wants help or direction with their visual identity.
FOR THE LABEL AS A BUSINESS
Ok, let's start with the actual label. It's as important to have a consistent aesthetic throughout your online presence and marketing materials as it is for a business. There can be some more creative freedom here and if a festival poster and a press release are needed, for example, obviously these will differ greatly in terms of style but there should be some kind of consistency, even if it's a font, colour and/or logo.
This is firstly for the label's presence; in order to attract ambitious and promising artists, labels need to appear professional and understand each aspect of what makes an artist successful; one of those being branding and visuals.
Secondly, you want to be easily found. A simple (yet beautiful and easy to navigate) website is a must, along with at the very least a facebook page and instagram account. Social media should have maximum effort put in; this is your free marketing tool!
My tips for using social media would be:
- upload content regularly: once a day on Insta stories, 2 or 3 times a week on Facebook and Instagram
- showcase your artists and their achievements or latest releases
- share some behind the scenes sneak peeks
- share introductions to your team so future artists and fans can get to know you
- share things that relate to your values (environmental, ethical etc)
- share your achievements/statistics/successes as a label
- post content at optimum times
- use suitable hashtags to maximize reach
The good thing with social media is that having a catalogue of artists means ready made content - it just needs to be constantly shared with the world!
Similarly to businesses, having a brand visual and online presence builds trust and lets the customer/audience know what they're getting and what you have to offer.
It allows them to get to know the artists, your team and this creates memories and builds loyalty. It's a constant reminder that you're here and so are your artists.
Documenting everything and sharing it can be time consuming but social media is the audience's window into all the amazing stuff you're doing and it's such a crucial marketing tool in this day and age.
a couple of months ago, myself and some fellow creative friends decided to take on a little monthly challenge.
we pick a prompt and then all draw something based on said prompt, in our own style. the idea was that it would be fun, keep us creative and it could encourage other creatives to get on board and come join us.
for me, it's a chance to practice my illustration as well; I see myself as a creative director/graphic designer so it's always good to be out your comfort zone and to improve the skills you're slightly less confident with.
we use predominantly instagram to share our shenanigans, but they're also spread about on facebook and twitter. if you'd like to come join us, then head on over to insta and follow the hashtag #wedrawmoretogether.
so far we've had CACTUS:
For transparency I don't have Danish TV so I sat for many hours scouring all the performances on YouTube which I think is actually a good thing because it means I know none of the judges comments or what the public opinion was for each act.
I also noted some main differences between X Factor DK and UK, you lucky potatoes:
1. Denmark XF uses a live band! As far as I know UK have backing tracks which is never as magical.
2. The Danish budget is LOW compared to UK, which is kinda obvious but it really slaps you in the face when you see the contestants getting the bus home after rehearsals.
3. There is no judges houses in DK. Sad face.
4. Denmark has ABSOLUTELY NO CENSORED SWEARING. Anything goes, even for kids.
5. The DK winner doesn't win a record deal but a tour of the shopping malls.
Right, on to the meaty stuff; I've only covered Kristian, Live and Echo because those are most likely to have a future career as an artist, in my humble yet kinda professional opinion. I've linked each performance so you can go check them out for yourselves.
Right, first of all, this is (kinda) my opinion and also focuses on commercial pop artists so don't @ me!
I have been fascinated with this topic for a LONG time and had many arguments/discussions with various musician friends about it. I've heard the standard points; 'X factor is shit', 'go to watch local bands who are GOOD', 'people who write their own songs are BETTER'.
In reality, I think these points are completely subjective and very generalised.
To me, there are five factors that make an artist successful:
4. musical ability
if you haven't yet seen, some branding packages have arrived and settled themselves nicely onto my home page.
they're super cute and are here to help you give your new business a dashing new brand identity!
after gaining some clients last year and zooming straight ahead into this creative freelance business, this month I decided to take some time to write me a thorough business plan, set myself some goals and decide what sort of projects I want to take on, going forward.
one of my main 3 goals (the other two are hushed for now) was to start a sustainable apparel brand. I wanted to have some kinda webshop from the offset, but for a while I was unsure of what direction I wanted to take it in.
so, Kind Maple was born.
Kind Maple is ever so kind.
I needed a new creative challenge for this little blog and one cold oktober evening, a brain wave struck. I could brand one music artist as another and vice versa...
my OBVIOUS choices were Melanie Martinez and London Grammar - I love them both equally but boy are they different.
I've been using Pinterest a lot lately, for researching and working on creative concepts. I've always had a minimalism board for all things 'less' and beautiful and I wanted to create a very little series of minimalism pieces, because yanno, I can do what I want.
as much as I love taking on challenges and creating stuff in all different styles, my own style seems to be forming (in regards to illustration more than anything else) so I decided to rebrand Zebrahead in my own style.
it's very different to their current style, which was kinda the point I suppose haaa.
and here are the results!
it was only a matter of time before this one surfaced, amiright?
for me, movie posters are one of the most predictable and easy to recognise forms of advertising media (whether that's a good or bad thing I'll leave it up to you to decide), so i figured it's about time I took on a new challenge and mixed it all up a bit.
this weekend I was too tired to do any actual work (and it's nice to have some time off sometimes, right?) so I decided to snuggle up with the ipad and experiment with some super fun apps.
oh hello frens and welcome to my next creative challenge.
I wanted to try using more different mediums with this challenge and hey, I love music so I figured I'd design an album cover for a fictional band in each of 5 genres. oh the fun!
I wanted to do a wide scope of styles so I picked these 5 lucky babies:
indie, metal, folk, trance and jazz.
hello, my pretties.
this one's been ongoing for a while but I got totally carried away with ideas and wanted to share.
I got given a brief which was this:
BRIEF: a new vegan restaurant concept; American or Australian with vegan junk food (burgers, pizza, ice cream, etc).
will it end up as an actual restaurant or live a sheltered life in my portfolio blog until the end of time? who knows.
but for now, here are my initial concept ideas for a Copenhagen vegan restaurant with an American or Australian kinda theme.
create a brand from scratch while tackling a current problemo
too much waste, too much plastic packaging being thrown away.
rumours about recycling not ACTUALLY being recycled.
lack of fun unicorn themed beverages.
REUSACORN- an organic fizzy beverage in a reusable unicorn jar.
no plastic straws, no packaging, just a reusable jar dressed as a unicorn! it can be reused for beverages with the lid and straw or used as a fancy vase without; either way it injects some sparkle and fun into every day life while helping to save the planet. WHAT A WIN.
create a make-believe, spoof, satirical campaign based on serious issues that need to be tackled.
sexual harassment within the workplace, particularly in large corporations.
happy friday and oh it's stage 5
I did not plan to do one of these a day but hey, I love pressure and it's happened. this is based on an instruction manual and includes all ma contact details.
good evening and welcome to stage 4
I decided to go full out fun and colour for this one; taking inspiration from a pastel colour palette and kawaii style drawings.