This one’s sort of my baby. Also, the easiest branding bid I’ve ever won. Nashville Underground Management is the artist management company I started with my business partner Shawn. But before the management company came Nashville Underground Radio, an online show and podcast we developed highlighting emerging artists. Then we discovered one named Zeke Duhon, and Nashville Underground MANAGEMENT was born within an hour.
The thing about branding a management company is that it’s all about the artists. So the goal here wasn’t to be flashy, fancy or super artsy. We wanted to be classy, contemporary and professional. Also something on our mind was the fact that we were unknown, and so (at the time) were our artists. So when we went knocking on doors, sending emails and posting news items, we wanted it to look like we could compete with the likes of Red Light.
At the time I was developing the branding you see now, we were looking into partnering with a digital marketing firm and developing a new company called Nashville Underground Online. The idea was to offer services to independent artists helping them create an online presence: digital marketing, website development and design, SEO, social media management, online branding, etc.
Sadly, this fell through, but our plates were already getting pretty filled up because we had just signed Jordan DePaul to the roster. That notwithstanding, we were gearing up to have three businesses under the Nashville Underground umbrella, so my goal was to create cohesive branding around all three. Nashville Underground Management is the only one still operational, but the logo stayed.
(THE “TEMPLATE” LOGO)
We liked the idea of using “NU” as a staple of the brand, but without blatantly playing off a concept of “new.” After painstakingly struggling with 342,430 concepts both in my head and on paper (and probably on any other medium in front of me), I came up with this boxed-in design.
I wanted to create something of a template. We had three not-so-similar companies, but were putting them under one umbrella (see, Virgin). If we ever decided to create an empire, we could use the same template with different colors, and it would look pretty cool.
There’s frankly nothing fancy about this site. As I said, it’s all about the artists, so everywhere you look there are links to their news items, their pages on the site and their own pages. (That would be JordanDePaul.com and ZekeDuhon.com, both of which were designed by yours truly.) However, one will notice that I find great beauty in simplicity. Keeping this site simple and straight forward, while still being contemporary and professional, was a great project.