Hey mintees community!
I'm posting this on here in hope that some of you could give some helpful information/ tips for sources/ recommendations/ etc for a topic I would like to write my BA Dissertation about next year.

My topic/ question so far is: "How important is Graphic Design with its role in merchandise for music artists in the metal genre nowadays ?"
(I know it's still a bit broad with the 'metal genre' and it still need to pin everything a bit more down) but overall I think that it is an important aspect/ question to ask in terms of who the music industry changed over the last 15 to 20 years and so the role of merchandise for bands to make money from touring.

I already found some interesting sources/ books/ online articles but I am still searching for some charts/ references and most importantly the opinion of designers. So if you guys have any recommendations or would like to express your own opinion on the matter I would be more than happy to hear it. I even would like to interview some of you (if possible via email because I live in the UK) to underline some aspects.

I still got lots of time but I want to start gathering reliable sources as early as possible and I think not only the artist's opinion is important but also the role of the designers. I am not posting this to make other people do the work for me, but I think most of you have more experience than me and a better inside view of the industry towards that questions.
Please post only serious answer.

THANKS A LOT ALREADY IN ADVANCE!!!!!!
-Jochen
  • disembodied head

    to state the obvious, graphics help to sell merchandise because they are a representation of the band. I've listened to metal for 3 decades and have always been drawn to album artwork. Everything from the Mercyful Fate/King Diamond covers to early Metallica, Slayer, and Anthrax to the many death metal covers by Dan Seagrave in the 1990's.
  • Jochen

    disembodied head said:to state the obvious, graphics help to sell merchandise because they are a representation of the band. I've listened to metal for 3 decades and have always been drawn to album artwork. Everything from the Mercyful Fate/King Diamond covers to early Metallica, Slayer, and Anthrax to the many death metal covers by Dan Seagrave in the 1990's.

    First: thanks for your response!!
    Yeah I mean that is a big part of the culture around the metal genre, do you know any good/ interesting articles about that aspect?:)
  • disembodied head

    I don't know of any articles, sorry. perhaps you could reach out to an artist who has done work in the metal industry. Try emailing Dan Seagrave and see if he might be able to answer some of your questions. http://www.danseagrave.com/ . You might get a response, you might not, but he's done numerous album covers for bands like Sepultura, Entombed, Pestilence, Malevolent Creation, Etc. Although, I wouldn't call his work 'graphic design' since he does illustrations, but a lot of what his illustrations wind up being sold as band merch
  • Jochen

    disembodied head said:I don't know of any articles, sorry. perhaps you could reach out to an artist who has done work in the metal industry. Try emailing Dan Seagrave and see if he might be able to answer some of your questions. http://www.danseagrave.com/ . You might get a response, you might not, but he's done numerous album covers for bands like Sepultura, Entombed, Pestilence, Malevolent Creation, Etc. Although, I wouldn't call his work 'graphic design' since he does illustrations, but a lot of what his illustrations wind up being sold as band merch

    Alright thank you very much! That helps a lot already!
  • Matt Borchert

    You may want to try to reach out to band managers or merchandising companies to see if they'll give you any feedback. Typically the designer doesn't see the gritty details / numbers of how their work actually sells through (sometimes they do, but it isn't typical).

    As far as sourcing articles...that's your job =D
  • Jochen

    Matt Borchert said:You may want to try to reach out to band managers or merchandising companies to see if they'll give you any feedback. Typically the designer doesn't see the gritty details / numbers of how their work actually sells through (sometimes they do, but it isn't typical).

    thanks for the idea!
    Matt Borchert said:As far as sourcing articles...that's your job =D

    yeah I know, I found some good stuff already but thought that some of you might have some good ideas:) but thanks a lot anyways:)
  • Jochen

    Would love to hear some more input from other people as well!
  • OYMYO

    music is mad cool to discuss, i love how imagery effects our perception and opinion of an artists music,
    like, i mega never listened to grimes because i just assumed it was a part of the "grime" genre, then i saw a photo of this girl all blond and skinny just sorta dreamy hazy in clouds and was like wow who's this, then it turned out to be grimes and it was already music i liked before i heard it,
    i think lots of things that apply to pop music would also apply to metal,

    things like album art are super important to me, i have pink floyd in my iTunes library just because the covers a bit epic, i don't even like pink floyd
  • jhndp

    Yep, agree with Matt Borchert. Contacting band managers and getting their feedback will probably give you a better insight on statistics regarding band merch.

    @OYMYO agree man! Sometimes I'd buy new CDs simply because it had good album art. I mean, if the band/artist had the effort to get good art, they probably exerted the same in making their music; although not necessarily true in all cases haha.
  • Jochen

    OYMYO said:music is mad cool to discuss, i love how imagery effects our perception and opinion of an artists music,
    like, i mega never listened to grimes because i just assumed it was a part of the "grime" genre, then i saw a photo of this girl all blond and skinny just sorta dreamy hazy in clouds and was like wow who's this, then it turned out to be grimes and it was already music i liked before i heard it,
    i think lots of things that apply to pop music would also apply to metal,

    things like album art are super important to me, i have pink floyd in my iTunes library just because the covers a bit epic, i don't even like pink floyd

    jhndp said:Yep, agree with Matt Borchert. Contacting band managers and getting their feedback will probably give you a better insight on statistics regarding band merch.

    @OYMYO agree man! Sometimes I'd buy new CDs simply because it had good album art. I mean, if the band/artist had the effort to get good art, they probably exerted the same in making their music; although not necessarily true in all cases haha.

    Thank you both for you answers! yeah its kinda interesting how the visuals of album cover/ etc kinda drives people into buying them. I love going through the cd/ vinyl stands looking at the covers or go to merch booth just to look at the artwork.
    I know many don't buy CDs any longer but I still love going through the booklets and check all that stuff
  • jhndp

    One of the nice things about getting CDs, vinyls, and cassettes or any physical copy of music is the artwork. I love going through the booklets too, looking through every detail on the artwork. I would go on for hours and hours staring what the artwork might mean, etc.

    Another thing I also enjoy about physical copies are looking at the "Band thanks" section to maybe discover bands that I may like. Although you can easily search for related bands online now, like going to Facebook or YouTube where if you'd go to a certain bands' page and or play their music, you'd get some other related band shown to you.
  • Jochen

    jhndp said:One of the nice things about getting CDs, vinyls, and cassettes or any physical copy of music is the artwork. I love going through the booklets too, looking through every detail on the artwork. I would go on for hours and hours staring what the artwork might mean, etc.

    Another thing I also enjoy about physical copies are looking at the "Band thanks" section to maybe discover bands that I may like. Although you can easily search for related bands online now, like going to Facebook or YouTube where if you'd go to a certain bands' page and or play their music, you'd get some other related band shown to you.

    Thanks for the answer!

    I actually found an quite interesting essay called "The Music Industry in an Age of Digital Distribution" by Patrik Wikström ( part of an essay collection called '19 Key Essays on How the Internet is Changing Our Lifes'). It's not particularly related to the design area but it is nevertheless a good read on how the music industry changed etc

    https://www.bbvaopenmind.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/BBVA-OpenMind-book-Change-19-key-essays-on-how-internet-is-changing-our-lives-Technology-Internet-Innovation.pdf
  • BrettMClark

    This is a great post but I am not satisfied with this post. So I want to share something about the study. I am also a professional and teach my students in interesting ways. Because for teaching, I use the most interesting topic sites and this site gives dissertation ideas for me and with the help of this site topic I give my students better information about your future and I give my students this I recommend using the site. Because this site has very interesting dissertations related to students’ studies. I am very satisfied with this site.

Advertise with us

Advertise with us


Sign Up

Forgot Your Password?