How to design a killer music logo

After I say the following, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?

Aphex Twin

Wu Tang Clan

Nirvana

Deadmau5

No not a dead mouse, after that it’s most probably the expert logo designs attached to their brands right? After all, we know the logos better than we know the artist, which is exactly what makes them amazing designs.

Why should artists have logos?

Whether it’s for your label, your band, or just simply for your own branding, having a logo is one of the most effective, but overlooked ways of gaining traction.

This is how I see it. When you’re producing, promoting and selling your music online you own a business. What does a business need in order to promote their brand? A logo

The purpose of a logo is to give your branding a simple, & clear image that defines what you’re all about. So if you’re an EDM producer and have a guitar logo, that might send mixed messages.

Plus, having a logo tells listeners that you’re in it for the long haul. That you’re not like the millions of other artists that will eventually give up. It shows professionalism and commitment.

Related article: 7 Genius music logo designs by solo artists

How to go about designing your logo?

Now before you hop on google to find the next best logo designer, you still need to do some work on your part. After all, you need to give the designer a rough brief of what themes should be added in relation to your music.

1. Why do you need one?

We’ve already established the benefits of having a logo to accompany your music, so you should already know why your brand needs one.

Maybe you want to sell merch. Or to spread awareness of your music etc.

2. Know your music and branding

Knowing your music inside and out isn’t the most challenging thing for an artist to do. I mean, if there’s someone out there who knows more about your music than you do then there’s something wrong.

What is your style? Genre? And what emotion does your music convey?

As for branding, know how you want to be perceived by others. As funny? Dark and twisted? A genius? Or even a roadman?

Knowing how your fans see you will of course help you when designing an icon that represents your overall brand.

3. Know your audience

You always hear it being said. “You need to know your audience otherwise you won’t make it!”

But what do they mean when they say “Know”? How much should we know about them? Should we know what they have for breakfast every morning?

The simple answer is: As much as possible.

Most successful marketers and graphic designers have kept their followers within arms reach, so much that they almost consider them as friends. They even end up hiring some of them.

The point is, know exactly who your music is for by being friends with the people that support it. They’ll give honest feedback, and you’ll know what logo designs will resonate with them the most.

4. Check in on your competitors

You may not consider other artists as competitors, more like contemporaries. Either way, analyse their branding. What are they doing wrong? What are they doing right? How do you make a logo that stands out from the rest?

However, if no one in your genre, and of your size has a logo, then you have a unique opportunity to stand out.

5. Find plenty of inspiration

Okay so once you’ve established the last four steps, you should probably have a few ideas bubbling around your head. Write them down! But to enhance this surge of creativity, let’s look at some inspiration.

Simply google some designs, art pieces or sketches that would look great on your merch with a few tweaks. Collect around 50. This isn’t something you want to rush.

These sources of inspiration can then be sent to a fellow designer to give them more context, if you choose to hire someone.

Just to add, please make sure to keep close communication with your designer. They do have a habit of going rogue for a few days and coming back with an irrelevant design.

What every music logo needs

1. Simplicity

Every logo needs to be simple, otherwise it won’t be noticeable, nor would it be at all memorable.

A good rule of thumb is to only have 1–3 different elements to your logo.

2. Timelessness

A common mistake by logo designers is to be ‘trendy’ not knowing that trends disappear into irrelevance in a flash. You want something that will be on your merch 5, 10 years from now. You want to be the Wu Tangs or the Nirvanas.

Ultimately, you don’t want your style to be vintage unless those are your intentions. Look at the logos in the music industry today tgo get familiar with the modern style that most designers are using.

3. Relevancy

The logo needs to be relevant to your genre and style. Please don’t have a Grim Reaper as your logo when you make happy music, it’s just counter productive.

4. Memorability

Using simple shapes to create images is a great way to maintain simplicity, but also memorability. If a logo is simple then it will be easily processed by our minds, psychologically speaking.

Colours are another way of attracting attention. Here are some colour ideas for logos.

5. Originality

Although you want to gain inspiration from modern, and timeless logos, it’s also important to use your own imagination to make something new.

Rolling stones’ logo is unique and eye catching, but if you do the exact same you’ll see next to no benefits. Gain inspiration from your idols’ work, but never copy them.

Related article: What does success feel like to artists?

Summary

To thank you for making it to the end of this blog, I will give you some ‘Don’ts’ when getting a logo designed.

Rule #1: Don’t be too clever

Rule #2: Don’t be too complicated

Rule #3: Don’t be low budget (£200+)

Thank you for reading!

Related article: 5 unique ways to make an attention grabbing album

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