Effi Summers - Music Industry Blogger
Creative Blog- Creative Direction, Branding and Design Projects
In this day of fast moving social media trends and constant video content, there´s an even heavier focus on visuals, content creation and branding than there was before.
It´s a LOT to manage and there are a LOT of creative, innovative ideas that need to be constantly thought up and then implemented. Content is getting more throwaway and short term, social media trends are ever changing and new platforms and features are springing up all over the shop.
As a creative director within the music industry, my job is predominantly coming up with ideas; interesting concepts for video shoots and photo shoots, fun content ideas for Reels and Tiktok and most importantly making sure everything is cohesive, consistent and aligned with the artist and music. I aim to inspire the artist to embrace the things that they may have struggled with previously and work with them to find a way that excites them to get involved!
Everyone´s an individual and should be treated as such. As an artist, you can get really creative with every part of the process, from writing your biography to planning your release campaign. Sometimes it helps to have a team member to bounce off, provide ideas and a general creative helping hand.
If you´re an independent artist and you´re working with no budget but you still feel the need to have a creative director on board then approach students who are enrolled in suitable courses (communication design, production design, branding etc) and see if you can offer them some work experience that would be value to both parties. As your income increased and your career progresses you can upgrade your team as and when you´re ready. Or your once-student helper may become your personal long term creative director!
For me, the artists who have really made a big impact with their branding and have had kick-ass visual ideas have had their own personal creative director - The 1975, Tyler The Creator... Their visuals are professional, beautiful and have given their music new dimensions. There are also artists that do it themselves and if you´re that way inclined then definitely take on the role yourself, I´m looking at you, Melanie Martinez.
I know major labels have creative directors and big teams and sometimes they absolutely smash it. Taylor Swift and Billie Eilish have build flawless visual brands and have found authentic ways of creating and implementing unique ideas and visions.
But for me, every artist should have this. Not everything has to be OTT creative and visual dominant, but everything should be as carefully thought out and implemented as these artists I´ve mentioned. It doesn´t always need a big budget either!
Maintaining artist authenticity, keeping an eye on current trends and pushing boundaries are three things I always do when creating visuals and an overall brand for an artist. I also consider every little tiny detail, as well as the big guns; overall aesthetic, colours, fonts, logo, staging, styling, how they pose for photos, hair and makeup, how their photos are taken and edited, concept development, content creation, social media bios, communication style, release campaigns and strategies, how their story can be told, how we can incorporate their values and help causes they believe in... Everything aligned and beautiful creates the overall picture. And if that represents the artist authentically as well as the music, includes nods to current trends and provides something brand new for the fans, then you´re on to something special.
That´s all for today, gang. BYE.
keywords: music industry creative director, branding, authentic branding, visual branding, aesthetics for music artists