Why Visual Identity Is Important (And How You Make It) – Spotify For Artists

Any artist who thinks they can only build a career on the merits of their words would be wise to take a look at history. From ElvisIts hypnotic hips Rolling stones‘Stupid tongue logo MadonnaJean-Paul Goltier’s cone bra, a mass born of popular music টেল television as well এবং and made by the media এটি it’s not just words. It’s style, swapping – a work in the full sense of the word. And providing full-impact is a versatile task.

The image, when done correctly, is not a hoax. It is the physical image of your music. Design, photography, fashion, video – these are the vehicles to express yourself on an extra plane, which expands the scope of your speech and makes it travel more and resonate more strongly with your audience.

Now, more than ever, musicians need a visual identity. The internet has done everything except a marketing essential. Increasingly, new talent is seen (via Instagram feeds, streaming recommendation homepage thumbnails, etc.) before listening. For music-sharing services like Spotify, artists have to upload album art so that songs can be posted. Where online video platforms left MTV, the music video reasonably had a greater impact.

And, the thing here, you can’t opt ​​out. Even the emptiness of an image, like a “non-image” Kanye WestLack of album art for this Jesus (2013) or Dave Matthews‘Standing softcore style, sending a message, means meaning.

Worried? Will not The good news is, you don’t have to be one Bowie Or Bizarre To create an effective visual personality. The good news is that technology and social media have made the business of creating images easier (and cheaper) than ever before. Read on for some expert advice.

Log in to your Internal Creative Director

To get started, take a moment to think about the big picture. “Ask who your music is for and what message you’re trying to share,” recommends Marissa Ramirez, who works with musicians as their director of creative content and music video commissioner at Interscope Records for their artistic direction. “Once an artist knows who they are, it’s easy to create scenes that support their world.”

If it sounds too much, break it up into an album or song, you’re working. “We like to take the opportunity to re-imagine the band’s visual identity with each album cycle,” said Claire L. Boats. “For example, for our 2015 record I thought the future would be cool, We have created fonts that speak to transmedia, the global flaw of modern life.

Inspiration means research. Plumb the internet and photo-sharing platforms like Pinterest and, which bookmark resonant images. But don’t limit your search online. “Go to your local bookstore and get lost in the art / photo section,” Ramirez says. “Nothing loses the real experience of reading and being inspired.”

It doesn’t hurt to keep tabs on what the form masters like Creator Tyler, Grimes, And Solanj Until then, depending on the way you can borrow them from the playbook.

And by all means, don’t go it alone. “Find someone you get incredible taste in and ask their opinion,” Ramirez says. “There are emerging creatives in various fields who want to establish a name for themselves and come down to work towards a common goal.”

Finally, understand that your image needs to be coordinated with your words. “Over the years, the process of designing and creating music in our world has become more and more involved,” Evans said. “Now I can never say for sure which one comes first.”

You got this

The digital age has democratized the production process. Where once musicians had to enlist a small army of creative professionals, they now have resources at their fingertips, from Photoshop apps to software design to online video tutorials, do the work yourself.

It is even possible to create your own music video. “Use a phone camera and bring an interesting editing device,” said Brooke Linder, who directed the video for the artists. Beck And Stephen Malcolm. “Editing is free and anyone can do it, so get it really good.”

Set design can also be a DIY affair now. Online videos offer tips on how to bootstrap in your own light while sites like Tumblr and Pinterest provide a wealth of inspiration. And remember, you don’t need all the last eye candy Taylor Swift The tour “It’s not just about the object of the stage, it’s the relationship between the audience and the actor,” advises Griffin Frasen, a production designer who has worked as a soloist and Oneohtrix never points.

Be strategic

“Music videos, album art, Instagram, or their own live sets are just a small part of a bigger story,” Evans said. “One of the biggest implications is an integrated visual identity across both IRL and URL platforms.” She’s right, of course. But not every artist has the time or resources to hit all the touch points. If so, where should your efforts be focused? “As a developing artist, I think social media and video content are important, because they are shareable and help build your audience,” Ramirez advises.

Thanks to the recommendations of the algorithm, video platforms play an important role in how Internet users discover new music and new artists. Their comment sections are also important, helping to encourage the community and connect fans. Meanwhile, social media puts you in direct control of your narrative. “Ten years ago the story of the artists was more controlled, now we can see when someone is having a bad day or working on common issues that make them human,” Ramirez said. In other words, don’t be afraid to share less glossy, more vulnerable pictures in this place.

Keep it simple

This is the advice we often hear. “There’s no need to worry too much about visuals when you’re still growing up,” Ramirez said. “It can be overwhelming because you’re probably comparing yourself to other artists, but just know that everyone has to start somewhere.” Linder expresses similar feelings. “The best music videos are simple and honest,” he says. “I want to see the personality of the artist. Someone’s favorite video costs a million dollars. ”

In fact, even basic techniques like a signature color scheme can be effective. For example, Interpol has cornered the millennial pink market at Ariana Grande, including red, white and gray in everything from their album art to stage lighting. After all, colors don’t come with price.

-AV Crowley

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