Coming up with a band logo may be one of the toughest challenges you face as a musician. If you’re not a visual artist, the very thought of designing a band logo may fill you with dread. But, the truth is that if you have any dreams of taking your musical career to the next level, you’ll need a logo.
Why You Need to Design a Band Logo
Logos do more than just serve as artwork for t-shirts at your merch table--they are an effective marketing tactic to make your band stand out from all the other bands out there.
The best band logos stand on their own. When you think of some of the most iconic band logos like The Rolling Stones’ “Hot Lips” or the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Star of Affinity,” the imagery is powerful. It’s memorable. And it makes for killer merch designs.
In short: if you want your band to be unforgettable, you need an awesome logo.
Check out our tips below on how you can make your own band logo to stand the tests of time.
1) Research Band Logo Design Ideas
The first step for how to make a band logo is research. You know that saying, “good artists copy, great artists steal?” To inspire your own band logo design, you should look at existing band logos that are both successful and unsuccessful.
You want your logo to be relevant to your band and your audience, so check out logos from your genre. For example, punk band logos will be noticeably different from indie logos. Your logo is a visual extension of your band, so you want it to match your brand.
Pay attention to fonts and symbols and make note of color palettes you like. You can use websites like Pinterest to create a “mood board” for the design elements you and your band mates like the most.
Google Fonts is an excellent place for fonts to include in your band logo designs.
2) Sketch Out and Refine Your Band Logo Design Ideas
Once you’ve found some inspiration, get sketching. You can do this yourself or see if you can bride an artistic friend with free merch. Just remember it doesn’t have to be perfect--if you can finalize a rough concept sketch, creating the final logo design will be easier.
When you get to this mockup stage, discuss the band's top picks, but don’t be afraid to take the polling to social media. People love giving their opinions, and if they like your music, their opinion is even more valuable.
If you already have an active fan base, holding a logo design contest is another option. You can always award your favorite design with some of your logo mersh once it’s hot off the presses.
3) Review and Finalize Your Logo Design
After you’ve tweaked your ideas enough, you may have in your hands a pretty cool homemade band logo design. But don’t get too excited. You’re not ready for printing t-shirts yet.
If you've been working off of hand-drawn sketches or collages, you will want to digitize your image. Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop are the most popular options, but there are free alternatives to better fit your budget, too, including GIMP, Pixlr, and Photopea.
If you have surpassed your graphic design capabilities, now is the time to turn to professionals. Find a freelance graphic designer or illustrator who can finalize your band logo design.
Further Tips to Successfully Make Your Own Band Logo
Working with a professional will ensure your logo design and quality are up to snuff, but there are a few other design elements to remember when designing the perfect band logo.
Keep the Logo Design Simple
While it may be tempting to get super fancy with your logo, sometimes simplicity is best. Typically, the most memorable logos are the ones with simple designs. Red Hot Chili Peppers is a great example because their super simple asterisk is so easily recognized and remembered.
Another reason to keep your logo simple is for scalability. For example, you want your logo to look equally good when printed on a 30-foot banner as it does scaled down to a small computer icon.
Don’t Rely on Color
There’s nothing wrong with using a solid color palette in your design, but not everyone will see your logo that way.
When you are designing your band logo, make sure your logo is still recognizable if it’s in black and white. This is because one, it should still be appealing to the colorblind, and two, there are instances when you’re not going to want a fully colored logo.
Font and form should be given more importance than color.
Once You Make a Band Logo, You Can Make Merch
Once you have officially completed the grueling task of learning how to make a band logo, be sure to get that logo everywhere. Plaster it on your social media channels, use it on any upcoming concert announcements, and start thinking about merch.
If you think making merch is an even worse task than creating a logo, think again. MerchBooth makes selling band merch and making money easy like Sunday morning.
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