When we discovered Jordan DePaul and signed him to Nashville Underground Management, we immediately recognized he had talent. What he did not have, however, was any sort of brand identity or even a working version of a website.
That’s not to say he didn’t have a vision for it. In all honesty, some of the things designed by me were conceptualized by him. For instance, he had taken the “±” symbol from the tattoo on his left arm, and printed it on some koozies with his name handwritten. According to him, the symbol stands for “taking anything negative in life and turning it into a positive.” This is what essentially became his logo.
My goal was to create consistency. We had great imagery, and a great creative mind in Jordan, but then it became time to bring it all together.
Jordan’s website is a great example of a simple one-page website plus e-commerce. It’s straight forward and easy to navigate. Here’s who he is; here’s what he does; here’s an example; here’s where to find more. It may be simple, but (in my personal opinion) it’s still pretty sleek and sexy. We liked the black and white theme interspersed with color when appropriate, and we integrated the handwriting font from the Forces album as headers.
Jordan conceptualized this album art as well. The name Forces came from the idea that there are some things in life that you simply can’t change… like your finger prints.
We decided to go “artsy” with it. I’ve designed more than my share of albums where the artist just wanted text put on a picture. Yawwwwn. Jordan isn’t conventional, so we decided to make it look baller. In lieu of his name we put the ± symbol, and blew up the fingerprint to be the focal point of the entire thing. Don’t worry, we still included a picture of Jordan with his name on the back so no one’s brain exploded.
For “The Ghost of Blue Ridge Tour” following the album, Jordan needed some new merch. After he showed me a few examples of very simple t-shirts he liked, we came up with the straightforward “Nashville Tee” below. As a designer, I tried to push him into something a little more invigorating, but Jordan had data from previous tours to back up how much people love two things: simple text and Nashville, TN. He was right; they sold like crazy.
The “YO OH! Tee” and poster were created specifically for his Ohio shows (obviously). For those who don’t know, “YO” is short for Youngstown, Jordan’s hometown (and “OH” is the symbol for Ohio… I don’t know, maybe you didn’t know that). It also has the added benefit of sounding like he’s saying “hello.” You’ll see a star right where Youngstown is located – that took some Google-mapping.