You’ve just formed a music group and can’t wait to start writing and playing songs with your friends. But before you hit the road and rush out for gigs, it’s a good idea to firm up your band’s visual identity.
In other words, what will your band look like?
Creating a visual identity for your band helps listeners and fans connect with you at a glance, and also helps separate your band from the sea of ââamateur musicians. If you want to be successful in the future, you absolutely cannot afford to skip this step.
With this in mind, here are 5 tips to define a strong visual identity for your group.
1. Use your gender to define your look
Every fan of a particular genre of music has certain expectations of bands, whether it’s the way they dress, their body language, or the colors they use.
So if you’re having a hard time deciding what your band’s visual identity should be, take a look at what other bands of your genre are doing. They might just provide some useful inspiration!
For example, the visual identities of pop-punk and rock groups tend to have high-energy images with strong fonts and bright colors. Group members can wear black and sports tattoos and piercings and even adopt hand signs.
On the other hand, jazz bands can use stylish fonts and retro images in their logos to create a relaxed vibe. Jazz players also often wear sunglasses to take their cool to another level.
Chat with other group members about their favorite groups in your genre and identify the remarkable features of the visual identity of these groups. Then think about how you can combine elements of these to create a signature look for your own band.
2. Add something unique to your visual identity
Having said that, you don’t want to blindly follow what other bands have already done. You want to be seen as walking at your own pace, rather than being an impersonator of another established group.
So, after you’ve done your research on the visual identities of other groups and started creating your own visual identity, ask yourself:
What is the unique touch that you can add to differentiate your group from others?
This twist can be as simple as using a color choice that’s not common in your genre, or wearing an unorthodox outfit during performances. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different ways to showcase your group’s personality!
As an example, look at the group Kiss. When they perform, all of her members have faces painted white and eye-catching black eye makeup.
And once you’ve familiarized yourself with their visual style, you’ll be able to spot their group a mile away. Now it’s a really effective visual identity.
3. Don’t overdo it
When working on your group’s visual identity, it can be tempting to add a lot of different elements to it to help differentiate your group.
You might be thinking, âEveryone uses at most two colors and fonts for their logos. So I’m going to use five colors for mine and make each word in my logo a different font. Will that help us stand out, or what ?! “
Of course it willâ¦ but maybe for the wrong reasons.
The more things you add to your visual identity, the more likely it is that everything will collide and look like a terrible confusing mess.
Instead, keep it simple and memorable. For example, rock band Linkin Park has changed their logo several times over the years, but it has always been a stylized form of the group’s initials, âLPâ.
No exaggerated visuals. Just a clean, instantly recognizable logo that fans love.
4. Keep your look consistent
After deciding on your group’s visual identity, you’ll need to stick to it.
This is because your visual identity is what listeners and fans will associate with your group. If you were to drastically change your signature look, your fans might get confused and start wondering:
âWhy this look different? Are you still the same band or have you changed? Should I always follow you, or …?
So as much as possible, resist the urge to constantly change your visual identity according to the whims of the day.
You might want to tweak some elements for a particular campaign or gig – and that’s fine – but you usually shouldn’t deviate too much from your chosen look.
Otherwise, you might not have bothered to establish a visual identity in the first place, right?
5. Promote your visual identity everywhere
Now here’s the fun part: promoting your visual identity.
Because you’ve taken the time to carefully create a unique look for your band. Are you just going to do nothing with it? Of course not.
This involves applying your visual identity not only to your performance outfit, but also to your:
- Group logos and posters
- Group website
- Album covers
- Social media posts
- Concert times
All of this will require graphic design skills. And as a musician, you might be more used to using drumsticks than a digital pen.
But the good news is that learning to design has never been easier these days, thanks to the Internet.
Graphic design platforms such as PosterMyWall offer a variety of graphic design tutorials, covering topics ranging from adding paintings to posters, which is perfect for your concert schedules, to more advanced techniques, such as adding color overlay effects to enhance the look of your posters of group.
If you follow the tutorials diligently, you will produce awesome graphics for your group before you even know it!
The look of your band is as crucial as the music you play
Your musical style defines the sound of your band, while your visual identity defines the look of your band. Don’t worry too much about creating great music that you neglect to create a signature look for your band!
Start by referencing the visual identities of other bands of your genre, before adding your own touch to create a truly unique look. At the same time, keep it simple and apply it consistently wherever it is promoted.
Make your visual identity well, and you will have a signature look that will represent your group for months and years to come.