Band Promotion

The task is to promote Blind Pilot’s new album We are the tide.


A poster is produced in a simplistic style with few elements; wavelike shapes and a pilot boat including typography


Target audience

Age: 25 – 35 (40%), 20 – 25 (25%), 35 – 45 (20%) and up till 25 (15%)

Occupations: Students, engineers, insurance, economy, trade, journalism, teaching, artists and health.

Income: Varying. Occupations are widespread. Average income is suggested to be medium to upper medium. And then a student.

Interests: Main interests seem to be is travel, being with friends and family, volunteering work and music.

Dress: Their appearances are moderate and casual. No special trend is followed.

Gender: The gender is approx 60% women and 40% men.

Primary target audience: Their audience is likely to be in establishment phase. And represent the median part of the population, without the extremes or deviations.


Creative method

In this case, a mind map was used for generating ideas. Starting out with the album title and going off in all directions. The path sea-water-boat-pilot became the only options that made any sense. The concept built further on these words.




Milton Glaser made an iconic poster, a profile of Bob Dylan, a while back. It was the main source of inspiration early on.


On the band’s Instagram profile, there’s a post with an image of a docked pilot boat. The caption says “Where our name came from“.



The pilot boat was selected for narrative and scale.


Band Research

According to their Facebook profile, Blind Pilot started out in 2007 as a duo when they set out on a bicycle tour on the west coast of US playing for different audiences along the way.

They state that their music is a type of American/indie/folk or acoustic/indie/pop. Quotes from interviews say “Classic-sounding folk rock set apart by phenomenal songwriting”, or “Blind Pilot has a refreshingly clean, modern sound.” They have a public friendly and gentle image.

Their style

Their “costume“ is casual, regular, day-to-day and laid-back. Nothing glamorous or artistic, but down-to-earth and real.

Their own website is minimalist and identifies them as a sensible group with a real message.  The band stays in touch with their fans using social media and their own website actively.

Items sold in the store are not in a particular style. They are inspired hand-drawn illustrations. No strong use of color or modern style. Perhaps a little influence from the late 70s but mostly “time-less”. They’re not chasing any trends.


Consumer demand: High expectations of a new album

Economy: Posters are affordable and still popular collectibles


Social: Posters must be placed up around areas where target audience will see it.  Usually, posters are hung up on posts or walls already dense with posters and flyers.

Ethical: Poster walls can easily look trashed.

Consumer Research

Quantitative: Research is done on band’s Facebook page looking through 130 profiles. Also a quick glance at Soundcloud. The result gave widespread “data”.

Hard to determine age, income, occupation etc. due to the fact that most of the information is hidden by the owner of the profiles. The target audience suggested in the introduction is, therefore, a cautious estimate.

Qualitative: Interviews and articles were examined to get a deeper understanding of the band and their audience, inspiration sources, their attitude, how they work, what they like etc.

Conclusion: The research on band and consumers suggest a “safe” design without much experimenting and risk-taking.


Design criteria

Blind Pilot: A US indie band playing modern acoustic, folksy, uplifting pop music. Their lyrics are poetic, soothing, emotional, soft, realistic and accessible.

They make an effort to avoid direct influences of any genre of music and also inspired by landscape and coastal scenery.

To picture their sound: Music instruments are guitar, drums, upright bass, trumpet, banjo, and vibraphones.

Audience: Their fan base is mainly 25-35 of age worldwide. Also between 35-45 and students up till 25. All occupations.

Target audience income is mainly medium to upper medium and students.

Cons: A realistic no-nonsense group with a real message. Their image seems to go well together with sustainability, although this seems not intentional.

They also have a constructive and public friendly appeal.

Threat: Not yet commercialized and exploited by big record labels.

Their gentle and soft image may go unnoticed by potential listeners.

Problem: They want to promote their upcoming album “We are the tide”.

Actual problem: Make a poster to evoke interest and motivation to buy.

Tell audience where to seek out more on their new album.

Make new potential fans aware of Blind Pilot.

What they do: Touring and playing for audiences in major cities/places all over the US and Europe. Lively and amusing performances.

What are others doing? Using internet and social media to promote their music and activities. Selling merchandise online and on sites.

Recommendations: Create a poster 50x70cm.

Art posters will sell for an affordable 25-30 dollars via their site and other sites promoting artists.

Distribute on permitted spots, subways, airports, schools and shops in cities included in their tour program.

Style: Influenced by contemporary ideas mixed with that 70s show. Minimalistic and easy on the eyes, colorful and calm. Avoid elements that represent destructive ideas.

Design overview
Do research on the target audience.
Use idea generation methods.
Sketch, focus and test ideas.
Refine and produce the poster.



Exploration: Following the inspiration several suggestions were made during the exploration phase. Too many were either too busy or psychedelic. The boat and waves are a recurring theme.


Focus: Three ideas were explored further in Illustrator. Typography was tried out. Gill Sans and Hobo were great examples giving a feel of the 70s or a hand-drawn marker-poster for fun.


Construction and testing: One of the ideas were continued explored in Illustrator. A guerrilla-test singled out the one that was ultimately selected for refinement and production.



Refinement: Gradients are added on fonts and objects. The Pilot boats position is also adjusted, and Hobo swapped with a geometric font and the band name now looks much the same as on their album and website.


New Album is made more prominently together with the URL as the call-to-action.




Gradients, the 70s, geometric fonts, waves




The poster has a mix of the contemporary use of gradients and geometric fonts. and the waves reminiscent of the playful 70s.

The rectangular shapes of the font and white frame contrast the sinus shapes.

A generous whitespace gives breathing room. Gradients on all elements make a three-dimensional feel to it.


Font used is Proxima Nova, a redesign of Proxima Sans, and is comparable to Futura and other grotesques.


Proxima Nova has a high x-height and works well on posters capitalized with its geometric like features.

It needs room to become particularly noticeable.


A triad with purple (the background color on their album) as the main color gave yellowish-green and dull blue as complementary colors.


Adjusting hue, saturation, and values for crisper colors to make them pop a little more.




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