Interview With Ryan Marter, Graphic Designer at Arctic Wolf Design

October 12, 2018 | Interviews

Arctic Wolf Design is a graphic design company providing services for bands, artists and businesses in the music industry.

With a goal of offering professional, yet affordable designs to music professionals, Arctic Wolf Design supplies logos, t-shirts, posters, merchandise, album artwork and plenty more.

They’ve worked across the entire spectrum of the music industry, from record labels to music management companies, lighting specialists to music studios, and plenty more.

Uptown Plug had the opportunity to speak with Ryan who works as a graphic designer at Arctic Wolf Design to talk about their process, inspiration, working with musicians, common artwork mistakes and more.

1) You guys started Arctic Wolf Design in 2017 when you realised that artists were having a hard time finding affordable and quality designs to promote their music. How important is quality design and artwork in building a musician’s brand?

Design is absolutely vital in the music industry.

Having a strong design not only looks cool, but it really does help promote the band or musicians music and event. We make sure that their brand is as strong as the music they make!

We work closely with the band and musicians to ensure that the design captures the exact purpose and message, so that it does the talking for the band.

2) What are the most popular design requests you get from artists?

Our most popular request is logo design. It is by far the most creative service we offer, and we do a lot of variations throughout the project.

The majority of the time, we finish a logo process, and then go on to help with an EP and album art, or social media banners.

3) Do you guys have a list of your favourite album covers or music artwork that you look at for inspiration?

There are loads we love from various genres. For EDM, it has to be the futuristic lettering on Skrillex’s older EP’s, or the ethereal imagery on Porter Robinson’s latest covers.

For Metalcore, I am a huge fan of the clever artwork for Deadthrone by The Devil Wears Prada. Another favourite, is the Neighbourhoods cover for Blink 182.

4) What is your design process like working with music clients?

The process can vary depend on the service, but we usually ask our clients to list some of their favourite bands, and any design work they like from them.

We then ask if they have any font styles they would like us to use, for example, futurist lettering, scripted, bold, etc.

Next we ask what sort of colours they would like us to explore, as this can really help the design stand out. Once we have all this information we create a brief, and send out a design contract for them to design.

This is vital for both of us, as its lets them know we are “legit” but also protects them, and states their rights.

Unfortunately there are a lot of designers out there who tend to take musicians money and leave them with no usable designs, so we do everything we can to make out clients feel safe.

5) What are some common mistakes you see artists make with their artwork?

The most common mistakes that artists make when creating their own designs, is that they tend to look too familiar to other artists work. As previously stated, its vital to stand out.

Hiring a professional designer means that research can be carried out into what has been done, and what can be done to push the design in a direction that will catch some ones attention, whether that be fans, or potential record labels.

We are happy to say that a lot the bands we work with have gone on to be signed, and our currently playing gigs with bands they have dreamed to play with.

6) What’s next for Arctic Wolf Design? What are your future plans?

We are looking to move into merchandising, and setting up a online store to sell our t-shirt designs. We get asked to design t-shirts all the time, and a lot of these designs are not chosen. So we thought it would be a good idea to sell these designs.

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