A new brand design for a music label is a lot of fun!
I mean… doing creative work for creative people? Where do I have to sign up?
When Jan and Magde from TheRealThingy contacted us, they were really focused on their idea: to create a new record label for emergent artists. An alternative label to be the home for the commercial misfits and outlaws (their literal words).
A brand design process
So, after the initial contact and some conversations about what they were looking for, they basically told us:
“We have everything to make this work. We just don’t have the business vision and we are a little afraid of failing on this project.
What we need is a guide to have a consistent image for the label and for the artists. Something that is recognizable to the naked eye, that identifies us in the eyes of people.
But the problem is that we don’t even have a name. We don’t want to use TheRealThingy because we don’t want projects to confuse or cannibalize themselves.
In short: we need all the help you can give us, and we are ready to discuss creative options. “
So, first thing first: they needed a name!
Step 1: Naming process
Naming process is one of the most difficult parts of creating a brand. At least when you do it properly! If we compare logo design with naming process, there’s no question about it. Brand naming is supposed to last forever (well, as much as possible), while a logo design will change many times through the life of the brand. So we spent a good deal of time working on this aspect. These were the main items to consider:
- easy to use on any media type
- has to look good, but most important, has to SOUND good
- has to tell a story
After many options we finally discarded, we presented 2 choices. One of them was Volume Studio, which they LOVED.
Step 2: Logo Design
So now we have a name. What do we need to do now?
Well, the obvious answer is a visual identification for the brand. Namely, a logo.
Again, we worked on several different versions, starting the design process as you always should: on paper. Here you have one of the mockups, which includes the foundation of the final logo design
We decided to test a couple of these versions, and finally opted for this one:
The logo represents a music mixer console. The faders of the mixer form a V (for Volume, of course). BUT the logo also has three-dimensionality, which means it has VOLUME. Thus, we created what is known as a evocative naming brand: it means that it will be fixed in the user’s mind at different levels. On the one hand, by the name of the brand itself; but also for evoking a concept on at least two different levels: volume (sound) and volume (geometric).
Both concepts are clearly represented in the logo (by the way, the logo type is combination logo). Which gives us an excellent starting point for the elaboration of different types of graphic pieces that require the use of the brand design and its visual identity.
Step 3 : Brand strategy
Due to the reduced budget, we decided to go for a growth hacking strategy as the core of our marketing strategy. We did this by creating a marketing campaign we named Reconnect. Reconnect makes use of the morpheme REC (short for record on music recording devices) and the concept of re-connection to a music business that leaves most artists outside. We created this brand strategy in order to communicate this concept: it is possible to do what you love, in the terms you want, with people that cares, in a business that wants you to grow (for real)
We used this in a social media strategy, giving away gifts with the Volume brand design, as well as the Reconnect motto.
Volume Studios Brand Design: The future
What comes next? Volume got the brand design they deserved. And results beyond what they expected!
Now they’re happily growing at the pace they hoped for. Based on the obtained results, they asked us to work on their website presence (made by our sister ux and web design company) and some additional design work such as record sleeves and posters.