In the age of social media, when users fly past dozens of Instagram photos every second and Tweets are expanded with large graphics and images, visual content is undeniably king. When considering your next album or single artwork, or your next music video, or your new logo, website, or other visual design item, think about what you are trying to represent.
Visual content is just that: a visual representation of the music. If you were to present your music without any visuals, it would be harder to get people to listen to your stuff. Imagine uploading a new beat on Beats Central or YouTube and it’s just a black or white square. How do you think this would be perceived in contrast to a thought-out, eye-catching logo or artwork cover? Notice how unassuming the image above is; does it make you want to hear what’s on the CD?
Good graphics and branding can not only impact your streams and sales, but it can also have a ripple effect. Eventually, the graphics may become a part of your marketing material – on t-shirts, posters and the like. Fans will then buy and wear this merch or hang it up in their room or slap a sticker on a telephone pole, thus giving your name more recognition and additional advertising. So when you are considering your marketing plan and imagining your brand, think about how visual imagery and graphics add to you and your music’s accessibility. Visual designs sell culture and identity.
So now that we have a grasp on the importance of branding for musicians and the importance of visual imagery in music, we should understand how to represent your music visually. Consider how an album’s visual artwork (music videos, covers, packaging, etc.) can affect someone who hasn’t yet been exposed to your music. What mood does it inspire? How does it make the other person feel?
You want to be able to answer these questions with your visuals and graphic design. You want to instill some kind of feeling or message with your imagery that is applied to most, if not all facets of your brand.
It should also go without saying that you need to look professional if you want to be taken seriously as an artist. Therefore, your graphic design and visuals need to look professional, too. Don’t be stingy, then, especially when it comes to graphic design and branding. If you or someone you know isn’t well-trained in this field, then hire an expert graphic designer, marketer, videographer, whatever to help create your imagery.
You have spent a lot of time and money, blood, sweat, and tears on your music. Why would you not contribute just as much consideration and effort to your branding and imagery? You want to make potential listeners want to listen to you. If you show the effort, creativity, and feeling in your visuals, it will only help you in your quest to gain more attention and attract more ears to your music and your brand.