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Music Logo Design Explained

There are as many different types of music logo design as there are tastes in music, ranging from the simple and sweet to the dark and edgy. An effective music logo tells a story about the event, company, or band it represents, while also playing a significant role in drawing larger audiences. It can define a brand, draw in new business, and become part of a company’s overall identity.

Taking time to explore the elements that go into a good music logo will help you glean ideas about the design that is right for you.

Sight and Sound Go Hand in Hand

The music business stands on what is pleasing to the ears, so at first thought logos may seem unimportant. However, the visual connection created by logos turns music into a multi-sensory experience, layering more meaning into the music. The same principle applies to music videos — visual aspects help music make an impact, and vice versa.

The first step in crafting a logo for music is choosing the overall feeling that you want it to convey. This is easy in the music industry because most businesses cater to a particular audience. Imagery that pleases lovers of classical music may make fans of hard rock yawn. Brainstorm ideas about the images, feelings, colors, and experiences that fit with the music you want to promote, and you are on your way to getting the ideal logo.

Capturing the Right Colors

Perform a Google search for music logos, and you will notice right away that one particular color scheme, black and white, dominates. The psychology behind this popular choice makes sense because so many things in music are black and white, such as piano keys, sheet music, and the formal wear that many orchestras don for their performances.

As prevalent as black and white is, this does not mean that you must stick solely to those colors. iTunes uses blue in their logo. Blue is a calming hue, and many people listen to music to help them unwind. iHeartRADIO’s logo features red, a standout color that communicates feelings of strength and vitality.

Logo design for musicians must harmonize with the musicians’ work, which is why you will notice that touches of neon against dark backgrounds are common for rock bands. Such schemes speak of rebellion and party, so they fit well with music that leans toward harder listening.

Finding the Right Type of Typography

Display typography dominates the music industry. Display typography is font with attitude — it captures attention, conveys a specific feeling, and makes people pause to take a look. Look at the band logos for Led Zeppelin, Nirvana, and ACDC; all of them are iconic logos with display typography that meshes perfectly with the bands’ personalities.

While display typography is very common in the music industry, you do have other options. The Atlantic Records logo features a sans-serif typeface, which is modern and clean, while the Columbia Records logo uses a serif typeface, which carries an air of reliability and respectability. Some music company logos combine different kinds of typography. Virgin Records, for example, uses both a display typeface and a sans-serif typeface.

Imagery to Capture Imaginations

Some music logos forgo imagery and use only typography and color to get their point across. More common, however, are logos that incorporate images. The images that occur most often are things like staffs, notes, clefs, records, and instruments.

Music-related imagery is the obvious choice for logos in the industry, but if you choose to use it, take measures to make sure that your logo does not get lost in a sea of other logos. Add a unique element. Long Neck Music provides a good example. Their logo is simple, black and white with a sans-serif typeface and a big music note directly over the words. What saves it from being boring is that at the top of the music note is the silhouette of a giraffe’s head, which adds a touch of whimsy and fits perfectly with the company’s name.

There is no rule that says you must stick with music-related imagery. The Rolling Stones used the attention-grabbing image of a mouth with a tongue sticking out (which might seem like a strange music logo, but it worked well), the Misfits used a skull, and ACDC used a lightning bolt.

The best poets and songwriters start with an abstract idea, which they turn into words, which go back to an abstract idea in the minds of their audience. You can apply the same principle music logo design by choosing imagery that fits well with the business, band, or event you want to promote.

Logos that Work

You have selected the colors, typography, and images that you think best represent your brand. Before you introduce your new logo to the world, do a final check by answering the following questions.

  • Is it versatile? Does it look good when it is big and when it is small? Is it still appealing when printed on a letterhead, a flyer, and a t-shirt? Can you dress it up for special events, like holidays or anniversaries?
  • Is it unified? Do all of its elements (color, images, typography) look like they belong together? Are the proportions appealing to the eyes?
  • Do you like it? Are you sure you will not become quickly bored with it? Is this really the logo that you want to use to represent your brand to the world?

  • It takes study and experience to gain true logo design aptitude, which is why it behooves companies to turn to professional designers. Whether music company logos, logos for musicians, or a high school musical logo, The Logo Company has plenty to offer, including:

  • At least five designs for you to choose from, created by a team of designers.
  • Quick results. You can look at your options after only three working days.
  • As many revisions as it takes to get it perfect.
  • Your logo in all possible formats.
  • Optional print services for things like business cards and marketing brochures.

  • Never underestimate the power of a good music logo to grow your audience. When your logo receives careful thought and attention from a team of professionals, you will end up with a piece of art that plays a key role in your business.