So, you’re a DJ or producer and things are going well? That’s great! Maybe it’s time to design a logo. In this tutorial we’ll guide you through the process. This is not an article on HOW to design it, but it’s a way of thinking that helps you making the right decisions in the process.
1. HOW TO START
Don’t just start designing. Start at the beginning.
Step 1. Do you really need a logo?
“Of course I do!” Well do you really? When you’re starting out it’s probably better (apart from good tunes of course) having a great name and some nice (press) photos for your Soundcloud & Social Media rather than a logo.
However, if you notice fans want stickers/ shirts or if you have promoters asking for a logo for flyers, events, sites etc etc. then it might be that time. Proceed to the next step.
Step 2. What kind of DJ/ producer are you?
It’s important to be able to describe who you are and what you’re doing. How do you want people to see you? Are you making modern music? Is your music influenced by 8bit sounds? By the 60′s? Is there some humor in it? Every style has it’s own look and feel and you might want to do some research after you’ve answered some of these questions.
Step 3. Do research
After you’ve determined what kind of DJ you are, it’s time to do some more homework. Try to look at other DJ identities in your genre, or even better, start searching for graphic designs that fit your style. What colors do they use? What fonts do you like? (serif / sans serif / classic / modern). Here’s 10 free fonts we really dig.
For example, if your music is inspired by a lot of 80′s sounds and synths, check out this site (Mirror80.com). It has tons of links to great Tumblr blogs with amazing 80′s art. It will definitely inspire you.
2. WHO IS GOING TO DESIGN IT?
So you’ve decided it’s going to happen. Are you planning on designing it yourself or do you want a designer to do it for you? Lets walk through the possibilities.
1. Yourself / a friend
2. A professional designer
3. Sites for Design Contests
DESIGNING A LOGO YOURSELF
That’s cool! But do it well or don’t do it at all. If you have skills with Adobe’s software you probably don’t even need to be reading this. If you’re inexperienced and need help, you might have some friends who are in to graphic design and can help you with Photoshop and Illustrator.
There’s tons of things you need to know (that your friends can hopefully tell you). For example, don’t start working in Photoshop but use Illustrator instead. Why? Well, in Illustrator you can create vector files, which can later be scaled to any size without loss of quality. This is important for later. For example, what are you going to do with a low-res JPG file made in Photoshop when you need a huge sticker for your tourbus? (it’s ok to dream).
Of course you should also have an eye for detail. Use good fonts (ones that are well-built and have good spacing), sweet colors and interesting shapes.
If this is all new to you, you might want to read about the other possibilities below.
A PROFESSIONAL DESIGNER
Obviously working with a professional designer would be the best way to design your logo. Check out several portfolio’s of designers you like and try to imagine what the outcome would be if they would design your logo. Would it suit you well? Be honest with a designer from the start. Tell them what your budget is and what your plans are.
Most designers are good people and are willing to help out startups/ beginners. This means they will often work with a fixed price rather than hourly rates (= more expensive). Meet up with them and brainstorm about how you want to put yourself on the map. It’s so important to communicate. Let them know what you want and let them give you input on how to realize this.
SITES FOR DESIGN CONTESTS
Personally I’m not a big fan of these sites, at all.
The idea behind these sites is great, you put up a briefing and get tons of proposals and reactions from which you can choose your final design. You end up paying a small amount of money for the logo you like best.
But you better think twice.
Making a (good) logo is a time consuming job so don’t expect 10 people (mostly students) putting a lot of effort in to your logo if they only make 10% chance on earning $50/ $100. I’m not saying they don’t have the right skills, but there’s not much motivation.
Next to that, all communication is digital. Are you able to share you vision and thoughts via a short description? There’s a lot of room for different interpretations, which isn’t a good thing in this case.
However, if $50 is all you want to spend, this might be a good option. You (kinda) get what you pay for.
3. WHAT FILES DO I NEED?
Whoever you will pick to design a logo, make sure you end up receiving one that works for different formats (small and HUGE). Ask the designer for the vector files (*.EPS / *.AI and/or *.PDF). These can be used and scaled for anything without any quality loss, which is a must as a DJ, since you will be dealing with communication on different sizes. Think of CD’s, USB-Sticks, LED-displays, stickers, banners, flyers etc.
Once you have all these files and are happy with your logo, the world is yours.
Really, you can do anything. Start slapping it over photos, create album art, put it on flyers and your social media, make t-shirts, sweaters, coffee cups, whatever you like! Before putting it up everywhere; try to make a set of rules for the logo (a short manual) so you can be consistent for all these media. Stick to a palette of colors, combinations of fonts etc.
Hopefully this article gave you some more insights on how to start out well when you’re thinking about getting a logo. If you want our designers to help out designing your logo, please contact us and we’ll let you know what we can do. Again, we’re here to help.
Good luck and have fun!