Today I’m introducing a new RÖKBRAND identity. Several months in the making,
it’s a fitting representation of the brand that I will continue to build and expand
over the coming months and years. In addition to reporting on innovative design
solutions within the music business, I also plan on using a small portion of
the RÖKBRAND blog to document the trials and tribulations of establishing and
growing a brand from scratch. I’m fully expecting a challenging mix of achievements
and setbacks, but will, no doubt, enjoy the ride.
So why “RÖKBRAND” and not “ROCKBRAND”? Excellent question. There are
a couple of reasons for the new spelling:
The main impetus that launched a slight name change was a rather simple one –
someone is squatting on “rockbrand.com.” I thought about ways to avoid paying
extortion domain fees by just keeping “rockbrandblog.com” and have even
registered “rkbrnd.com,” but as I played around with the spelling of the name, RÖKBRAND made more sense because: 1) the unorthodox spelling of “rock” is
refreshing and new, and 2) ROKBRAND was readily available as a dot com. Sold!
What’s up with those two dots over the “Ö”? The umlauts were incorporated as a tribute
to both the era and genre of music that I really connected with during the late 80’s – it
was at this time that I developed a true passion for music. At the time, Motley Crüe was blowing up and easily one of the most unique bands I had ever seen, much less heard – their use of umlauts is quite obvious. There was also, of course, this little mockumentary called, This is Spinal Tap, about the band, Spinal Tap (who had completely unnecessary umlauts hovering over the “n”). The punctuation is a healthy blend of reverence and humor. The Ö also serves as a visual cue to notice the absent “c.”
I selected Trade Gothic as my typeface for RÖKBRAND because of its modern and
sturdy feel. I want the brand voice to be derived from artists representing many
styles of music, but mainly those with a harder, grittier edge, so I made some slight modifications when designing the logotype to reference some hard rock heritage.
As described above, the umlauts serve a specific purpose, but I also extended the
stroke of the “A” just below the baseline to pay tribute to another iconic Metal
brand – Metallica. Just take a look at their logotype and you’ll see my inspiration.
It’s subtle, but that’s the point.
As for the logo – it took me a NUMBER of sketches to get it right, and even more time
in Illustrator to get the curves and lines in proper form. The logo was born from the
fact that I often refer to RÖKBRAND as “RB,” so the logo, (the “RB spike”) is a hybrid letterform, combining characteristics from both a capital “R” and “B.”
“Rock Outside of the Box” was developed rather quickly over one afternoon when I was thinking of a concise way to summarize the blog without sounding dry and literal. I like
the fact that “Rock” can be looked at as a noun or a verb here. The term “outside of the box” is used quite often to convey unorthodox thinking, so I felt it was a good match for the musicians, designers and technology the blog embraces.
Thoughts? Feedback? Questions? Please comment below . . .