Ahh, band branding—it’s tough when you’re starting out, and stays tough unless you’re lucky to have a designer in your midst. Many bands tend to jump into the music first, and neglect visuals until later, but we here at Paste feel it’s important to focus your energy on the brand, as well as the band.
This project starts today and will be a weekly occurrence throughout 2015—our task is to choose a band and redesign how they look and how they could be perceived to their audience when the room is silent. It doesn’t mean their design is bad, it means we’re volunteering our own imagination to someone who deserves it.
The first band on our list is Vacationer—a salty, summertime group based out of Brooklyn and Philadelphia. Since an album cover is often a fan’s first interaction with the band visuals, let’s take a look at a few of theirs:
Clockwise from top left: Relief (released 2014), Gone (released 2012), The Wild Life (released 2014) and Good As New Remixes (released 2013)
You can quickly see from their album covers they’re into summer; they’re into the beach and tropical life. They want to be the guys you listen to when you’re sipping piña coladas by the pool this May. This vibe is carried over in their lyrics, with topics ranging from paradise to a shining sun. The biggest issue we see with the graphics is that there isn’t really any consistency in their visuals apart from centered text.
Their merchandise, apart from vinyl and CDs, is a sort of randomized group of t-shirts and tobacco paraphernalia. The coloring on the physical merch doesn’t match the albums, and the type placement on the shirt on the left is a little awkward. What’s the vibe now? Tacky Miami boardwalk purchase? They deserve better.
We started off by producing a strong logo—we used the full name instead of an abbreviation or icon, to give the band’s name some longevity, and designed it to look like it was melting under the hot summer rays. We chose colors that are bright, warm, and punchy, and paired them together in ways that catch the eye. Instead of a heavily filtered Instagram photo as the background of the album art with some funky geometry, we wanted to go with clear, colorful visuals that bring the summertime vibe home—juicy fruits, beach scenes and sunshine.
Take a look at the rebrand above and tell us what you think in the comments below.
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