Branding and packaging is at the heart of rock and roll! Some of us remember the golden age of rock record album covers. Along with it came the striking logos that still burn in our memory. We think of AC/DC, Kiss, Aerosmith and many others. And who can forget the Led Zeppelin logo with the four symbols? Most of these bands came up with outstanding logos and continued to use them album after album. We can look at a silhouette of a Coca-Cola bottle and know right away its a coke. We can see the VH logo and know it stands for Van Halen.

Logos have always been as much a part of rock and roll as the music itself. I remember, in the days of record stores, buying albums based on the cover alone. If a band had a really kewl album cover I was more likely to buy it over the crappy-looking ones. It’s all about image – your band’s collective image and your logo is the most important part. It is the symbol of your band…a visual representation of everything that is your band. Such a potentially powerful image should never be taken lightly. If you think a quicky font on a cheesy background constitutes a logo, you have much to learn. Sometimes a logo can make, or break, a deal. A cheesy logo makes you look like posers. A professional logo will get attention. Do not underestimate the power of the logo!

Most of the memorable logos are no more than kewl artistic renderings of the band’s name. This can be a variation of a font or a drawing of something from scratch. Some bands also employ a simple symbol. Think of the Rolling Stones “tongue,” the Red Hot Chili Peppers “eight-pronged asterik,” or Aerosmith’s “wings.”

START ME UP

If you have a graphics savvy member, you are fortunate. Some bands will have to hit up their buddy in the college graphics design program or hire it out to a professional. There are services online with varying results. The staff of Mojo Foxx are all musicians who just happen to be graphics designers. Some of us are professionals in PhotoShop and Illustrator. We know the power of images and product branding. These are a few of our leading recommendations:

  1. Keep your logo simple
  2. Employ as few colors as possible (or use gradients)
  3. Make your band name easy to read.
  4. Consider buying a font instead of using a free download. It is less likely that others will use the same font.
  5. Spend time thinking about the design. Come up with several mock-ups or sketches and choose the best one.
  6. Test your logo with friends and fans before chiseling it into stone.
  7. Then stick with the one logo. Do not confuse your fanbase, venue owners, promoters, or others by having multiple logos.
  8. Have a vector version of the final logo design. With a vector image you can scale the logo to any size (yes, even a billboard) without losing quality. You will need a vector image for printing your t-shirts and other merch as well.
  9. Now go out and conquer the world in the name of ROCK.

Cheap Trick Branding

GET IT RIGHT FROM THE BEGINNING!

John Cripps, Google+
Originally Written: 07.16.12