Effi Summers - Music Industry Blogger
Creative Blog- Creative Direction, Branding and Design Projects
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.
1. I chat to the artist/band and see what they're about - this includes picking key words that convey their message and anything that describes their 'vibe'. Many notes are made.
2. Logo - having a consistent logo is as important for a music artist or band as it is for a business, especially at the beginning when they're trying to increase their fanbase. It creates familiarity and makes the artist memorable. This should be used across the board, for album artwork to promo posters.
3. Mood board - having a mood board of fashion styles and aesthetics makes it easier to gain inspiration for future visual-based projects, such as album artwork designs and music video concepts. This can include anything you like and those factors will most likely differ for each act; some examples being clothing, props, makeup, staging and general inspiration images. This is helpful to refer back to whenever any creative decisions have to be made.
These three points are the initial steps to building a brand. Next I would consider what sort of content would be suitable for social media channels. This is another important factor to gaining fans and letting current fans get to know you (and like you even more). The type of content needs to align with the overall FLAVA of the band/artist and exude the right feel.
4. Social media content plan - after a discussion with the artist and label, I devise a plan which includes two focus channels (managing all channels is a full time job so for smaller artists/labels it's good to have a focus rather than trying to do them all and sacrificing quality). I advise which times/days to post and how often, as well as ideas for any content, images and/or graphics.
5. Other media - this includes album artwork designs, music video concepts, promo photoshoots and any graphics that may be needed (promo posters, announcements for social media etc).
These work as stand alone projects, although it's better to have an idea of your initial branding before deciding on any details. There is a certain amount of creative freedom here, but obviously your brand aesthetics should be taken into account.
I would recommend keeping any graphics much more on brand while allowing most freedom with music videos, whereas the job for album artwork is to convey you as an artist but also encapsulate the music within, successfully representing it in visual form.
To summarise, every piece of material that comes from a band or music artist should fully represent them, whether it's through music or visuals. Getting this right results in a bigger chance for success and the chance to attract as many fans as possible.
If you'd like the opportunity to work with me, then please drop me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org, I'll send you my super handy Artist Branding PDF and we'll go from there. HAPPY FACE.
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