Always great to get behind the headspace of designers for some of your favorite artwork and logos. Today we spend some time with our friend Kiryu out of Zhuhai, China as he talks to us about his process of designing metal AF logos. The dude is busy as hell because besides designing logos, he actually sings in a HUGE number of insane metal bands whose links can all be found below. Music for his bands can also be found at the bottom of this interview.
If you play in a band and are dying to get an insanely well designed logo, make sure to get in touch with Kiryu through his Symobolic Art Studio at this link or email: https://www.facebook.com/zhang.kiryu [email protected]
Hey bro! How’s it going? Can you give everyone a little background of yourself?
I’ve probably been designing for my band since 2013, maybe earlier. I started designing for a lot of metalcore bands because here in China there are so many metalcore bands. Slowly I started designing for a wider ranger of bands from black metal or death metal, to thrash and progressive. While designing I also play in bands like Obsoletenova and Dehumanizing Itatrain Worship, drawing my own band’s logo because it’s a lot of fun!
What do you use to create your designs?
I rarely use pen on paper to draft. I actually just go directly to computer using Photoshop or Illustrator to draw the logo. This is just my habit.
In the process
What inspired you to start making logos?
The biggest reason I wanted to start making logos was simply because logos super cool! Hahahaha…For a long time I was just a regular guy that spent hours and hours looking for new music. While looking for new music I also naturally started checking out logo designs by a variety of bands. I realized that the logos I liked the most are deathcore bands, because they look super cool. Hahahaha…
And then how do you begin designing?
Generally, I just open up Photoshop and draw a simple frame. Frames are very simple, just like a child’s doodle. Like this:
And then over time I start to improve on it. Through the process I’m constantly communicating with the band to amend the design. When I’m finished, the final design is nowhere close to what it looked like when I started. Like this:
If I’m creating for a metalcore band then I will use some basic fonts but will still go through the process I mentioned above to modify the design. I just want the final result to be totally an original font. Kind of like this:
This is a logo I finished up for a deathcore band:
So when you first started you already knew to work on a computer to design or did you ever do pencil and paper sketches first?
I started directly on a computer because I already was using Photoshop for other work. I just remembered that one day I suddenly wanted to try to design a metal logo, and I got going on the computer.
Oh I see! So you were already doing graphic design and so the transition for making logos was pretty easy then. So when you first started which band’s logo did you really like? What did you like about it?
When I first started I really liked the logo for Ingested. I wanted to design something similar to that.
Why did you like this logo?
Largely because it was the first Slam band I heard…hahahahahaha…but what I really liked is that each letter is very sharp and memorable. I love that about this logo!
And then what was the first logo you designed?
It was so long ago that I don’t remember. I don’t even have the logo anymore honestly. But early on, I painted for my band Dehumanizing Itatrain Worship.
When you’re designing for slam bands what are the elements you must retain?
Must be sick.
Hahahaha good answer. What logo design are you most proud of and why?
These are my favorites. And their really isn’t any reason – it’s just a feeling I get when I’m done creating where I go “that’s it!”
Can you take us through a typical process of creating? If a client approaches you how do you get started?
Most of the time I just let the band first describe their ideas and I listen and take time to understand what they’re looking for. It is very helpful for the band to show some references of what they like.
Once that has happened how long before they get to see a first draft?
Maybe within a week.
Wow! That’s fast! And how many times will you allow the band to ask for edits and changes?
I have no problem revising drafts according to their ideas, but if the original requirements AND the draft are completely changed or the whole idea has been thrown out all together, than I only allow this to happen three times.
Is their a particular band you are surprised has approached you to create a logo?
That should be the Agonal Breathing logo that I finished working on most recently.
Yeah I agree – that one is SICK!!! Were you surprised that they found you?
Yes, I just heard their album recently and it’s sick as fuck!
Awesome man! Any words of advice for anyone who is interested in doing graphics for bands?
Keep practicing and checking out more logos! Don’t limit yourself to a single style. You will be much happier this way!
That’s it! Huge thanks to Kiryu for taking the time to talk to us! Now go blast his jams loud and proud!