Since social media networks emerged over a decade ago, marketing yourself as a musician has changed considerably. Many social networks have come and gone, others have undergone drastic changes in the ways artists and businesses are able to advertise their brand online. Regardless of the site an artist chooses to share their music on, one thing remains constant: listeners and fans are flooded with thousands of options to choose from. So what can you do today to set yourself (or band/group) apart in a social world where everyone and their neighbour are making music? Brand your band! Work on developing a logo (and/or symbol) that fans can immediately attach with your name and music.
Bands and artists have always needed a unique logo to connect with fans. An iconic logo is likely the most memorable thing a fan will attach to an artist (besides their music of course). Legendary bands and groups like KISS, AC-DC, The Rolling Stones and Wu-Tang have all created symbolic images which are easily recognized world wide today. But what does that mean for you and your band? Regardless of whether your fan base is under 100 or over 10,000 the same principle applies: the fans want to rep what you rep!
Recently, one example of a successful logo that is now seen on merchandise, online videos, media, and even tattoos is the collaborative effort of the Stomp Down Killaz (SDK). Although SDK was actually established as a team of graffiti artists, today the symbol is attached to an entire movement of musicians and artists, representing hip-hop culture as a whole. Rap artists Snak the Ripper and Merkules along with Ephin apparel (and many others) have helped turn the logo into a successful brand that is recognized by hip-hop heads across the world, especially in Canada.
One thing to consider when creating your logo is the power of symbols. Although a proper text based logo is essential for viewers to discern your artist/band name, a symbol that represents your brand can often be more effective! Symbolism has always been a part of the human condition. From cave paintings to Egyptian heiroglyphs, humankind has always communicated through the art of symbolism. Try creating a symbol that represents you and your music, maybe incorporate letters from your group name, or imagery that matches your distinct style. An effective symbol should always be somewhat simple. Remember you want the image to be easily recognizable whether it’s on the bottom of a small handbill, or blown up behind your band on a massive stage banner!
When dealing with digital graphics, it is important to have somebody help you turn your ideas into a shareable design file. An experienced graphic designer will make sure your logo is created in a high quality format that can be easily expanded or reduced in size without losing any quality. Also, finding a design artist who is willing to work with your ideas when developing a logo will keep your branding authentic to you and your fan base.
So whether you’re in the early stages of marketing your music, or needing an updated logo to match your current success in the industry, having a logo/symbol developed which can be shared and recognized online is absolutely essential in today’s social world. Set yo