If you want to use your music in a commercial sense, you must have a good think about your b(r)and image [sic]. One way of being recognised instantly over various media, be it social media, paper or broadcast media or posters and advertisements, is having a band or artist logo.
Your logo should be simpatico with what you represent. Whether it illustrates your band name, the nature of your music or your personal style, it should stick true to YOU in order to exaggerate your personal qualities and image. Tyler Allen echoes this in his post in the Sonic Bids Blog, stating that “your band is your brand”. Allen also discusses the power of the logo icon that can be used in isolation from any text that might make up the full logo. This is apparent in a couple of the examples of effective logos I have shared below:
This logo is very bold and captures a number attributes that we associate with The Who. The red, white and blue target sits perfectly with their ‘mod’ style and the arrow stemming from the “o” perhaps reflecting their boyishness. The typeface is bold but simple and the connection of the “h”s is appealing as a design aspect.
Deadmau5 is a DJ, like Aphex Twin (see my previous post), with a strong image. This is shown very clearly by the fact that he wears a ‘mau5’ mask on-stage. The image of the ‘mau5’ is also used as his logo. This logo has been used in a number of different colours and even patterns but is perhaps most recognisably used in a bright red colour. This reflects the energy and dynamic to Deadmau5’s music.
Similar to the Deadmau5 logo is the Radiohead demon logo. It perfectly mirrors the dark territory the band were exploring in their albums ‘Kid A’, ‘Amnesiac’ and ‘Hail to the Thief’. The image of this demon was used extensively in their artwork and posters at the time but was also standardised as a logo, fit to be used on badges and T-shirts etc. It is most often used with a black outline, highlighting its demonic and deathly subject.
Perhaps the simplest logo out of these four is The xx’s logo. It is white lettering on a black background, using a sans-serif font, that lends a sophistication to the design, reflecting the coolness of the band’s music. The letters are, unsurprisingly, two “x”s, so there is no confusion as to what band the logo is for!
You can find a selection of some of the best band logos at nme.com
There are a number of common key features that make these band’s logos effective. They all reflect the style of the band and their music, they are instantly recognisable and they are all relatively simple designs. Allen praises this simple design approach also, stating “minimalism isn’t only a great and classic method of design, but it also ensures longevity throughout your career”.
The colours used also play an important part in getting the band’s image across. Usually one or two colours does the job in creating a mood. Large corporate brands such as eBay or google that want to highlight the breadth of services they offer, often use a larger spectrum of colours. With band logos, however, usually, less is more. For more information on use of colour in logos, head to the Creative Bloq site.
I am currently working with a graphic designer to get a logo that represents me. I’m looking at something that highlights my talents as a musician and a writer and reflects my imagination. Like with the examples above, I hope to have a logo that is simple and easily identifiable. I’ll update you all when I have something to show you!
– Sandy (firstname.lastname@example.org)