One of our favorite genre of projects is music related graphic design. Yes, we mean for bands, especially ones that put loud noises on beats in sets of four—That’d be Rock & Roll for the uninitiated. There’s nothing we like more than whipping up some album art, or a logo, or a press kit for a band that we like. That being said, creating designs for a band can be one of the most challenging things that you’ll ever do as a graphic designer. With that in mind, we’ve included a few of our choice tips to help you out with the whole process.

  1. Know the Music: First out of the box, simply know what kind of music the band actually produces. No, we don’t mean you have to listen to every possible inch of their discography—though that’s never a bad idea. Instead, simply know a bit about what they describe themselves as, including what genre they’ve been lumped into. If the band can provide reviews of their material, see what tone the reviewers are suggesting they have. Use that information to craft a mood in your work that exemplifies the direction that the band is taking, and is currently going in.
  2. Keep the Logo Simple: If you’re designing a logo for the band, one of the absolute best things you can do for both you and the band members is to keep the logo as simple as possible. Why is this? It’s rather simple, really: You’re going to need to put this logo on just about every material imaginable. Gig posters, press kits, bumper stickers, T-shirts. Seriously, this logo will be heading for one hundred and seven different uses. All of this to say that it needs the utmost in scalability, the highest amount of legibility, and the most visibility that you can give it. What does all this amount to in a plainer sense? Make the damn thing simple. Resists the urge to throw in lots of complicated graphics, and try to keep the focus on the text of the actual logo itself. You can use colors and filter noise to create a specific tone, but don’t clutter up the thing with unnecessary items.