Music Marketing: Graphic Design for the Music Industry

Did you catch yourself humming “Here comes the sun” or perhaps “Come together”  the moment you saw the Beatles logo here? We get it! That’s the power music has on us. And that’s the power of music marketing!

In this blog, we are going to talk about music marketing in general. And how graphic design has a part to play.

Design For the Music Industry

Musicians have the power to cast a spell on their listeners with the music they create. And with the perfect logo for the music band, things get even better. A single logo reminds you of so many beautiful songs. It kindles so many beautiful emotions. That’s just one way in which graphic design is used in the music industry. But it’s not just about the band’s logo, there is so much more. 

Before “internet” happened, designs were only required to adorn the covers of the vinyl or music CDs and cassette tapes used for music distribution. Besides this, there were flyers used to promote concerts. And print ads in newspapers were used to announce upcoming albums. 

A lot has changed today. Everything from the music distribution channels to the promotion of music. Music bands now take their logos seriously. They do not wait until they attain a global level of popularity to work on this. Promotions happen in full swing before the release of the album and after too. 

Digital and print advertising are used extensively to promote bands, albums, and even singles that make it to the top charts. All this has opened up new possibilities for graphic design in the music industry. 

In this blog, let’s talk about the many manifestations of graphic design in the world of music. Logo designs, promotional materials for bands and artists, and cover art for albums. And finally, some general tips to keep in mind while designing for the music industry. 

Designing a Logo That Captures the Spirit of Your Music

Source: Wikipedia

Bands or even single artists benefit from creating a brand and consistently branding themselves. And with the measurably large number of independent artists and music companies today, stepping into the competitive world with powerful branding strategies, will give you a headstart. 

A good logo design is a great first step in this process. This helps in establishing a seamless connection between the promotional materials you use on different channels and your album cover art. The logo will also appear on your website and social media pages as well as in digital and print ads. By establishing brand awareness, a music logo opens the door to the long-term success of the band. 

You are not trying to gain one-time consumers who listen to your album and forget about it. It is about gaining fans who love, appreciate, and share your music. For this, a logo will put a relatable face to the band or the artist. 

A powerful logo is one that helps listeners instantly recognize your song in any random playlist. It is that symbol that quickly tells people that an ad they are seeing has some exciting news pertaining to their favorite band. A logo is thus the foundation on which your relationship with your listeners is often built. 

Below are a few tips that will help you create a logo that does all this and more. 

1. Genre-based decisions 

You want your logo to stand out, we understand. But it never hurts to take inspiration from bands that produce music in the same genre. You will have a good few ideas to expand. And you will also know what works and does not work with your listeners, without having to take a big risk of trying something experimental. 

Your genre can be a valuable source of ideas when you need to identify symbols or font styles to use in your logo. And that brings us to the next aspect of music logo design: typography. 

2. Expressive typography 

For professional logos, flat designs and clear fonts work well. It will convey the brand’s message and also build credibility. But for a music band’s logo, you need more than that. You need people to feel what they will feel when they listen to your music. 

That’s where expressive typography comes into the picture. 

Source: Wikipedia

In the above logo of the iconic band, Led Zeppelin, the design looks like a simple serif typeface at the first glance. But the variations in letter heights and stroke lengths help make a statement design. Nuances like these help distinguish your band logo. 

Kimp Tip: There is so much character you can impart to your music brand simply by playing with typography in your logo. Adding such variations in particular aspects of the font also makes it easier to animate your logo later on, for your promotions. 

Need a catchy logo created for your band? Whether you need a simple wordmark or a combination logo, the Kimp team is here to help. 

3. Intuitive use of symbols and imagery

Symbols and imagery represent ideas, and emotions. So, for the logo of a music band, the right symbols will excite and aptly engage the listeners and fans. When you have abstract feelings to capture or would like to add different layers of interpretation to your logo design, the right imagery can make an impact. Like the Guns N’ Roses logo, for example. 

Source: Logos World

Adding imagery to your logo also gives you an opportunity to strongly establish your band’s brand colors. And these come in handy later on, during your promotional activities. 

4. Aim for a timeless design 
Source: Wikipedia

It’s not just a logo, it is a representation of your music band, your music style, the vibe of your songs. Fans revere everything related to bands they love. There might be t-shirts, hats, and a large assortment of other merchandise featuring your band’s logo. A logo that simply goes with a running design trend might appear outdated by the time the printed merchandise hits the markets. 

So, your music band’s logo should be such that it stands the test of time. This way, you do not have to change your logo too often. And you can use it both in print and digital media without doubting the relevance of the design. 

Kimp Tip: Choose classic font styles or timeless symbolisms to create perpetual music band logos. A carefully composed logo will look good when expanded and printed out on a billboard. And it will have a similar effect even when displayed on small scale in one corner of a social media post or ad. 

Struggling to design a logo that does justice to your band’s personality? With the unlimited revisions you get in a Kimp Graphics subscription you can fine-tune your designs as much as you like until you are fully sure of it. 

Designing Print Ads That Fans Will Treasure 

Designed by Kimp

Print ads are tangible. So you can use this to your advantage. If you design memorable posters and flyers to promote an upcoming event, your fans might even preserve these as fond reminders of the event. 

And here are a few things to keep in mind while designing these:

  • Typography is king in poster designs. Using a style similar to the font style in your logo will be a great idea. Of course, for the event venue and timing details you can go with a clearer sans serif font. 
  • Create a virtual vibe with the right colors and symbols. Pick a style based on your music style for the best results. Bold themes and neon palettes or bright pop-art style illustrations will all work for rock-concert posters. Vintage themes are great for jazz performance ads. And for electronica, abstract contemporary styles will do the talking. 
  • Using the photos of the performing artists and snapshots from old concerts will also make the poster more engaging. 
  • Darker backgrounds and photo backgrounds with text overlay can be used to create an immersive design that captivates the attention of every fan right at first glance. 

With print ads, it is about making a statement. On digital platforms, you can create multiple posts to break down the details of an event. Or even run a countdown to keep your audience anticipating the big day. But with posters, you only get one shot. So, make sure that you set the mood through a resourceful poster.

Once this is set, you also need to start working on your digital campaigns to support your offline advertising efforts. So, let’s talk about creating digital ads and social media promotions. 

Design Tips for Digital Ads and Social Media Posts

There are so many ways in which artists and bands can strengthen their marketing on digital platforms. A clear website with information on the artists and event details has become a mandatory item in the marketing strategy. And with social media pages, you can do so much more than marketing. 

For growing musicians, social media can be the place to find gigs. And for famous artists and bands, this is a place to expand their reach and get global. 

Source: Instagram

The Lumineers, for example, always have something new for their fans. BTS videos and photos, timely announcements about events and venues, video snippets from live concerts – there is so much for fans to enjoy. 

And this can also be a way to strengthen awareness and earn new fans. When they know that by following the page they will be the first ones to know about an upcoming event, they will be more than happy to engage with the page. 

Besides regular posts on social media, you can also use paid advertising to promote events. Using videos or photos from a previous concert is one way to grab your audience’s attention. You are showing them what they will be missing if they do not hurry and book the tickets. 

Kimp tip: Use themed posts, strong Instagram aesthetics, and throwback pictures to show your band’s growth. And when it comes to Story, you can add questionnaires, and polls to start conversations with your fans and even gather feedback. 

Need help designing consistent-looking social media posts to grow your page? Try Kimp Graphics. 

Cover Art Design Tips for Artists and Bands 

Source: Wikipedia

No prizes for guessing that the above cover is from Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon. This shows how an album cover becomes an iconic visual reminder of your songs. Every time your fans play a song, they see this image pop up on their screen. As they scroll down their playlist, this image attracts them to listen to the song one more time. 

In the year 2020, nearly 83% of the total revenue of the U.S. music industry was from streaming services. With the rapid growth of online music distribution, artists are facing heavy competition. So, a strong album cover might be your ticket to getting noticed even in the growing competition. 

Your cover’s purpose is to introduce the particular album or a single. But it should also capture who you are and what kind of audience the music is for. Album covers are square and need to be designed mindfully so that they do not appear pixelated when the song starts playing. 

Delve into color psychology before you start designing your album cover. Want your listeners to feel happy or uplifted or nostalgic? The primary colors in your album cover can set the right ambiance for that. 

These are just a few ways to use graphic designs to promote your music band and elevate your branding efforts. To be sure that your music receives a warm welcome and to easily understand your fan’s opinions, there are many such ways to use designs and communicate with them. As you continue to work on creating quality music for your fans, let the designs help build your fan base steadily. 

Music Marketing: A Few Quick Tips for Designing for the Music Industry

Do not be afraid to try conventional marketing tools like stickers, buttons, patches, or even branded t-shirts and other merchandise. Merchandise marketing can drastically improve the reach of your brand. Whatever be the marketing material you choose, here are some design tips to set you apart:

  • Try to establish brand guidelines with details like color schemes or visual art styles you will like to incorporate into all your promotional materials. And with this, they will all look coherent. With this, fans will instantly recognize them. 
  • In places like posters establish a strong CTA. This can be the phone number or website details to book their tickets and location details for the event. Adding a QR code to the map location or direct links to the ticket booking page will improve conversions. Use strong color contrasts and clear fonts to make sure that customers notice the details and take an action. 
  • Do not forget to add your logo or even the slogan or tagline of your music band on your posters, banners, and billboards. 
  • Make your designs mostly about your listeners and how interested they are in your music. Showing how much your fans enjoy your music or how your music moves your fans will be the way to gain more listeners. 

Take Your Music Marketing Game to the Next Level With Kimp Graphics 

An ad that captures the attention of your listeners, a logo that will look beautiful on merchandise, and social media posts that keep your audience coming back for more – all this is possible with a single graphic design subscription. And if you would also like to add videos to your marketing strategy, you can choose a combined video + graphics subscription. With this, you will constantly have something fresh to work with. And thus be able to actively promote your music band and keep growing your fame. 

Ready to explore the benefits? Start your free trial today.