Creative Blog- Creative Direction, Branding and Design Projects
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.
FOR THE ARTISTS/BANDS
In regards to music artists, it's also important to have a consistent visual and a brand identity; this means someone on your team who knows each artist well, knows what they're about, what they want to achieve with their music, how they want to be perceived and their own personal style preferences. With all this knowledge, an artist 'brand' can be formulated, maintained and communicated to the audience in the form of graphics, press photographs, music video concepts, album artwork and social media content.
This 'image' will grow and evolve naturally over time but there needs to be something in place initially so the music and visuals can entwine to make a marketable artist.
An easy example of this is Lady Gaga. She aims to shock and push limits visually so the audience has grown to expect that surprise. People like familiarity, even if familiarity contradicts the expectation. This will be the case for her fans whether they go to see her stage show, watch her on a red carpet event, open her CD sleeve or watch her latest music video; they want something visually outlandish and wouldn't accept anything less. It stays consistent throughout.
All big successful music artists have a creative team so indie artists need this too, albeit on a smaller scale (ie me, hello!).
In many cases, the artist's album artwork will be seen before the music is heard. It's the packaging and the packaging's job is to successfully sell what's inside; it needs to be representative of the innards and make the customer WANT to listen to it. The music should absolutely sell itself but the packaging needs to convince the listener to take that next step.
This is even more important for new/smaller artists who are trying to increase their fanbase!
Would you buy a pair of designer trainers if they came in a ripped carrier bag? No you would not.
You'd expect a shiny branded box which does a great job at conveying the value of what's inside!
I styled and took these photos in under 30 minutes using the same camera positioning, same backdrop, same makeup and different outfits from my own wardrobe, yet they still convey different messages and represent different genres (slightly stereotypically but you get the point haha).
I did this to show how even with very basic resources, different moods/styles can be communicated. When you add in custom selected clothes, makeup, hairstyles, poses and camera angles that support an artist's brand visual then absolute magic can happen. And that's before you've added in location, props and themes.
The budget is usually tight for an indie label so having a 'label creative' would also save money in the long run. Someone who knows the artists inside out (not literally, that would be weird) is going to save you time and money as the initial knowledge and research would already be done; meaning each project would be another little stepping stone on the road to success.
That's my thoughts for today, frens.
VI SES x
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