Artists need a visual brand to support their music. Often, it’s the music that gets people to check out an artist, but it’s the brand that keeps them interested.
Think of the millions of people that follow Taylor Swift on Instagram and Facebook. Or better yet, think of the millions of people who follow every move of the Kardashians. People love artists for their personalities, brand, and public persona as much as they love them for their music.
Every artist who is making a go of a music career has looked into creating – or has already created – a professional brand. Hopefully, they’ve crafted a brand that works for them, but it’s quite likely that the attempt ended where it started.
Lately, I’ve seen more and more artists designing and curating their branding DIY style. While I was initially skeptical, I’ve come to realize the benefits of a DIY brand.
First off, there are problems with having a professional brand. It’s very expensive. It can come across as cold and impersonal. And you may end up paying a lot for a brand that you’re not happy with.
Having a DIY brand is definitely not for everyone. However, if you are interested, motivated, and have some basic skills in the visual department, you should try your hand and creating your own brand.
Ultimate Creative Control
One of the primary reasons why artists go the DIY route is not having to entrust their vision to someone else. It’s very hard to rely on somebody else to enact your vision, and if you work at your skills, you can create a brand that is absolutely, completely, you.
A complete branding package will cost you big bucks. At least $1,000, but probably more. If you’re hiring a professional, it’s usually a smart move to work with a graphic designer you know and trust.
Your brand tends to be a personal thing for artists, as it represents your music, your art, as well as – to some extent – your personality. It’s important to have this represented accurately. The problem is, many artists can’t afford it.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a quality graphic designer for less than $35/hr. And when you’re making posters all the time, coming out with new content all the time, and releasing albums and videos, it all adds up.
Even when it comes to recording, a lo-fi, DIY sound can be much cooler than an overproduced, hi-fi sounding recording. Again, this isn’t the approach for everyone, but dating back to The Rolling Stones mobile recording studio, artists have been making lo-fi recordings that are somehow cooler than their hi-fi counterparts.
If you switch your branding to be more DIY, suddenly you can afford to create branded content whenever you want, and potentially with less effort.
It’s Easier To Maintain
If you don’t maintain your brand, you don’t have a brand, you have an expensive mistake. Much like music, a brand has to be seen over and over again for people to understand it and remember it.
Because you are making the content yourself for little to no money, you can easily maintain your brand.
It’s not hard to stick to a brand you created. Use the same font over and over again. If you’ve created a logo, put it wherever you can. If your pictures have a certain look, be it a filter or style, stick to it.
If you have found a voice that works for you on social media, keep using it. If you maintain a certain public persona that you like and can keep up with, keep doing that.
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