Why Louis’ current rebranding is more effective and less harmful than you think
We all know it is vital that for 1D to have any sort of a future, they need to appeal to a more adult market. What’s the best way of doing that? Make them seem like adults. It’s pretty simple right.
Sure, you say, but why do they have to push straight partyboy Louis? How is that helping anyone? Well, let me tell you.
Straight partyboy Louis is, despite what the fandom thinks, the most innocuous, forgettable image that you can push on a young white male celebrity. Adults don’t really give a fuck that a 23 year old boybander is out partying and picking up girls. It’s a non-story and anyone who has been 23 knows it’s pretty standard tame behaviour. He’s not getting arrested, he’s not shooting up, he’s not using prostitutes or doing anything scandalous that would make adults sit up and take note. And whilst it feels to us that they are pushing the het thing really hard, remember that for most people heterosexuality is so much the norm that it doesn’t register. They won’t read these articles and go, oh my gosh, he must be straight, that is big, fundamental information I shall retain and never let go of, they will just go, meh, he’s normal, whatever.Or if they’re smart they will just point out that he is gay and this is PR.
My point is that these kinds of articles are the best way for his name to be in the papers, giving just enough of a sorry excuse for a story that they can print his name in non-1D contexts, without adults getting too suspicious that something is afoot, because the stories themselves are pretty dull. These are the stories people will skim past, shrug off, claim they don’t care about or that they are unshocked by…
BUT - and here is what matters - they will also subconsciously incorporate the name of Louis Tomlinson into their mental catalogue of adult celebrities. Skim past enough half-arsed stories about Louis Tomlinson and eventually, without even trying you will have an idea of him doing things that adults do. No more “One Direction, aren’t they like 16?” because no, somewhere in your mind you associate them with alcohol and clubbing and the use of drugs being non-shocking, so, your brain does the work quietly in the background and concludes, they must be adults.
Side bonus point - these sort of articles can actually prompt people to defend Louis Tomlinson as being an adult. Literally, they are provoking the public to actively assert that Louis is in fact an adult.
So what you’re saying is, the fandom that has repeatedly been subjected to sexist and misogynistic manipulation from the media and a band’s own marketing team is now being given a chance to show the world that they have strong opinions and ideas on how to approach and even solve topics such as bullying, sexism, equality, poverty, hunger, disease, racism, climate change, etc?
And the band that has persistently been tabloid fodder and reduced within that same media to mere gossip, never had their music, talent, intelligence, or social-mindedness focused on, is taking a stand alongside that same fandom to use their fame and wealth to address those same issues?
In late 2011, we were hired to re-design TransWorld Surf magazine. Our objective was shifting the creative direction to support a photo-driven editorial model while breathing new life into the magazine format. The intended result: sophistication that does not take itself too seriously. An immediate increase in market-share proved the re-design was successful and it continued gaining until May of 2013 when the publication was purchased by its main competitor and subsequently shut down.
I'm reading the Gryles denial through the eyes of a non-Larry. I find it extraordinary that none of the articles so far have said that Harry is in fact straight so wouldn't sleep with Grimmy. None of the articles have referenced Harry's GQ interview when he said he didn't think he was bisexual. This reads like one gay person being incorrectly linked with another gay person. This is amazing.
Ok so first I’m gonna do a quick run down of One Directions use of colour in their brand.
The basic palette is pretty simple: White, Red, Black
This however changed into just White and Black recently, they don’t use red as a primary brand colour anymore. I did a palette of all the album covers plus Drag Me Down to illustrate this. Note that the palette is not for the image itself (corporate imagery is a whole other post in itself) but for the logo and typography on top of the images.
So they started out with red, black and white then went to red and white and are now monochrome with black and white primarily
Now for the Merchandise it’s also mostly red/white/black with the exception of the perfumes who have their own colour palette. This is partially because perfume packaging tends to be in pastel colours and also because their target audience for perfumes is girls and perfume for girls apparently must always have pink packaging or else they wont buy it (buh outdated gender roles and lazy marketing). But what you can see is that the shades of pink they are using are becoming less pink and more peachy. Between Us is a peach as opposed to pink and I’m liking it! It seems more mature and serious compared to the other ones.
Then we had action1D in wich they had to adapt to the main organisation action2015 which they did very cleverly. They had to adhere to action2015′s guidelines (click on the link to see the guidelines) and just add the 1D logo. It works well for them.
This Is Us was also a special thing that came with it’s own promo and campaign and they substituted the white with a beige in the designs. I personally thought it was a bit too much, but then I like the less is more approach.
Ok onto my favourite part of this post and that is the tour design!
My favourite thing One Direction has done design wise is the OTRA Tour art direction. The colour scheme is so on point. And the entire thing was directed by Studio Moross with Kate Moross leading the charge. A pretty popular design blog called It’s Nice That even had a post about it, you can find it here. So needless to say that if design blogs are posting about it it’s quality material! You can see that the colour scheme for UAN, TMH and WWA are all kind of the same as the brand colours. And then BAM comes in OTRA and kills them all. The OTRA art direction and design is kinda like the Drag Me Down of 1D tours if you’re looking at it as a graphic designer.
So in summary it’s looking very good for the future of 1D brand colour wise! Excited to see what they do with that next. I’m thinking album five will be black and white primarily like four and they will add some colour via images/photos.
Their Website has recently been refreshed by Studio Output, go here for their case study on it.
I think this was the biggest step in rebranding from a corporate identity/graphic artist point of view yet.
The website is very cool looking and the way images and typography is used is very aesthetically pleasing. It isn’t overcrowded and the navigation is clean and simple. No broken links, no pixelated images, everything is findable. They did good with this. Huge step in the right direction.
They used to go for a black, white, red colour scheme in the past but for this they took out the red and it makes the whole thing so much lighter. It also makes it look more mature and grown up. This is a website that a designer would go on to look up how it’s built.
Also very cleverly done with the single promotion, it’s the first thing you see when you go on there.
this whole marketing push/rebrand/whatever it is is so fascinating to watch from the perspective of a fan? like i keep thinking about what it might look like to someone on the outside and i keep coming back to miley’s rebrand and like…i wasn’t a fan of hers before, i didn’t know her music or care about what she was doing, but i was still vaguely aware of her as someone who made music that young kids enjoyed? like i knew she was successful but she wasn’t relevant to my interests? and then her rebrand started and at the time it seemed like all of a sudden EVERYONE was talking about her ALL THE TIME and she was EVERYWHERE and i was just like ‘…..huh’ and it didn’t take more than a couple months for me to consider her an adult musician who makes music for adults. like it wasn’t this big complicated thing where i had to be convinced and won over it just sort of happened, like…without me even noticing it.
and yeah i kind of feel like that’s what’s happening with 1d right now but idk it’s just something i’ve been thinking about a lot the past few days