THE STRATEGIC GOAL: to create and maintain a consistent identity that you control, and that will be the first thing that leaps to people’s minds when they meet, promote, think about, and engage with you and your music

REFERENCE PAGE: IndieGuide.com/Brand

Table of Contents
Section: Defining Your Brand
What Musicians Need To Know About Brands
The Five Qualities Every Brand Should Have
How To Choose A Band Name That Is Unique And “brandable”

Section: Images, Fonts, And Photo Basics
What Every Musician Needs To Know About Working With Images
How To Choose A Versatile Color Palette That Can Be Used On The Web And For Merchandise
How To Find Precleared And Royalty- Free Photos, Images, And Graphics To Use
How To Choose Fonts To Make A Distinctive Look For Your Music
How To Make A Logo
How To Make A Mascot For Merchandise, Web Sites, And More
How To Make An Avatar Or Profile Image That Can Be Used In Social Networks, Message Boards, And Web Presences
How To Make Promotional Banners That Can Be Used On Other Web Sites
How To Make Photos Of Your Band Ready To Use In Press, Posters, And Bios
How To Hire A Photographer And Own The Copyright To The Photos
How To Hire A Graphic Artist And Own The Copyrights To The Images

Section: Text, Bios, And Description Basics
How To Write A Music Description That Makes People Want To Check Out Your Music
The Three Forms Of A Bio That Every Musician Should Have Handy
How (and Why) To Create A Consistent Writing Tone And Voice
How To Write A Tagline/Slogan For Your Band That Can Be Used On T-Shirts, Web Sites, And Merchandise

Section: Putting It All Together
How To Build A Brand Toolbox

Links and extras

Section: Defining Your Brand
What Musicians Need To Know About Brands

From the section: “...your brand is not just about business and sales—it’s part of your art. ”

The Five Qualities Every Brand Should Have

From the section: As Andre Calilhanna of Disc Makers told us, “Your goal should be to wedge yourself into people’s consciousness.”

How To Choose A Band Name That Is Unique And “brandable”

From the section: “...choosing a name today is more complicated than it was in the past. First of all, all artists are international the moment they get on the Internet. ...”

BandName
US Patent and Trademark Office
Namecheap
Godaddy
Dotster

Section: Images, Fonts, And Photo Basics

What Every Musician Needs To Know About Working With Images

From the section: “If you don’t have a basic knowledge of image and color formats, you may end up with files you can’t use, or ones that can’t easily be modified. ”

GIMP

How To Choose A Versatile Color Palette That Can Be Used On The Web And For Merchandise

From the section: “Locking in a color palette is a subtle and powerful way to evoke a mood that
mirrors your music.”

Pantone

How To Find Precleared And Royalty- Free Photos, Images, And Graphics To Use

From the section: “The Internet may be filled with photos and artwork, but most of them
are not copyright-free.”

Wikimedia Commons
Flickr Creative Commons
Nasa
iStockPhoto
Getty Images
Clipart

How To Choose Fonts To Make A Distinctive Look For Your Music

From the section: “Consistent fonts among your logo, Web site, press material, merchandise, and albums help tie all your materials and merchandise to your brand. ”

Here's some places to find fonts:
1001 Free Fonts
Fontspace
Google Webfonts

How To Make A Logo

From the section: “You will be putting [your logo] on your Web site, your albums, your merchandise—nearly everything that you release.“

Pantone

How To Make A Mascot For Merchandise, Web Sites, And More

From the section: “Your mascot is not the same as your logo, although your logo can incorporate your mascot. ”

How To Make An Avatar Or Profile Image That Can Be Used In Social Networks, Message Boards, And Web Presences

From the section: “...your logo might not be in the right shape, or may not be clear enough when it’s shrunk down to size .”

Gravatar

How To Make Promotional Banners That Can Be Used On Other Web Sites

From the section: “These images are also useful for people writing stories about your band on a Web site or blog to use. ”

Example embed code:
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/35458620@N00/6821633168/" title="cheapass0051 by Randycon, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7040/6821633168_cbf2126bb3.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="cheapass0051"></a>

How To Make Photos Of Your Band Ready To Use In Press, Posters, And Bios

From the section: “Your band photo will be used as the representative shot of your entire group in your press kit, in articles the press writes about you, on your Web site, in your booking kit, and on other promotional materials such as posters and flyers. ”

Example embed code:
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/35458620@N00/6821633168/" title="cheapass0051 by Randycon, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7040/6821633168_cbf2126bb3.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="cheapass0051"></a>

(If you're curious, that's Randy laying down a Bari part to the band's third album.)

How To Hire A Photographer And Own The Copyright To The Photos

From the section: “Even if you hire a photographer and pay them to do a photo shoot, the photographer will own the photos, and can charge you for every future use....Here’s how to find and hire a photographer and come out owning the  photos.”

Craigslist

Here's a work-for-hire contract you might consider using. If you have any legal questions, though, see your lawyer to make sure that it covers what you need:

Work For Hire Contract

How To Hire A Graphic Artist And Own The Copyrights To The Images

From the section: “....you need to make sure that you get the right files back and that the copyright is assigned to you. Otherwise, you will run into trouble the next time you need to use the images. ”

Elance
oDesk
Crowdspring
99designs
Worth1000
DeviantArt

Here's a work-for-hire contract you might consider using. If you have any legal questions, though, see your lawyer to make sure that it covers what you need:

Work for hire contract

Section: Text, Bios, And Description Basics
How To Write A Music Description That Makes People Want To Check Out Your Music

From the section: “You will need an accurate description of your music that grabs people and makes them want to check it out.”

Ariel Publicity

The Three Forms Of A Bio That Every Musician Should Have Handy

From the section: “You need an interesting and compelling way to introduce your band to people—how it started, the music you play, what you’re doing, and any accomplishments.”

Note: We're working on getting the rights to good bios from other bands for this section.

How (and Why) To Create A Consistent Writing Tone And Voice

From the section: “The wrong tone to your public writing can cause problems with your public image .”

How To Write A Tagline/Slogan For Your Band That Can Be Used On T-Shirts, Web Sites, And Merchandise

From the section: “Your slogan is most likely to be used on the Web, but it can also become part of your logo, be included in your e-mail signatures, or be used on promotional materials. ”

Brad Sucks

Section: Putting It All Together
How To Build A Brand Toolbox

From the section: “By having all your brand images and text accessible in the cloud, you’ll save yourself time when you need to access them such as when you need to create merchandise, deal with the press, make album art, and more. ”

Dropbox 
Box.net