Getting The Most From Your VEVO Banner Design

Posted on 07/20/2015 by Dan Vassallo

VEVO Banner Design

Get an inside perspective on what it takes to put together the BEST VEVO banners.

As a part of the Vydia design team, I have an abundance of artist branding assets that I am either editing or reviewing for VEVO banner design. As a result, I have been exposed to the good, the bad, and the ugly. Being an artist myself, my ultimate goal in creating a VEVO banner for a client is to not only satisfy the patron — but to also churn out a product that I am proud of.

In our current digital world, there are a lot of file formats, sizes, and extensions. Most people can’t make heads or tails of it and that is perfectly fine. We start to run into issues when trying our best just isn’t good enough because the materials we were provided have really limited any artistic capability.

How can we change this? How can we make you a VEVO banner that you — and we — absolutely love? I have spent time creating examples of what to do and what not to do when preparing your assets for a banner design. Using this guide we can work together to get you the professional imagery that you are really looking for.

Artist Promos

The Good

When sending a promotional photograph of yourself or your artist there are a few things to consider. If your image has layers or masks it should probably be sent as a PSD or a TIFF file to preserve layering so our team can easily deconstruct the photo. If it is a flattened image, a JPG or PNG will do just fine. Beyond that, even though the image will only be displayed on a screen — a 300 dpi file is sure to have clearer edges and a smoother masking process. This will not only look a lot better than your alternatives, but will contribute to expediting the banner-making process. With that being said, 72 dpi images are totally acceptable. Just make sure they have a large resolution and are formatted as RGB color as the images will need to fill a 1080 display television screen.

The Squeezed

Do not resize your photo from it’s original aspect ratio. If you’d like to thin out your figure, let us know. We have professional designers that can help you out. When we get sent an image like this we have to spend more time stretching it back into it’s original shape than we do actually designing your banner for you. As a rule of thumb if the picture you are about to send doesn’t look like it does when you see your face or figure in the mirror — it’s not a good photo. Ask your photographer for the original unaltered image. The more there is to a photo, even if it’s unusable background space — the better.

The Blurry

Do not send photos with low resolution. The more visible the pixels (the jagged little squares you can see here) are the harder it is going to be to mask out your photo. More than likely, if the photo is already at a resolution this low or rendered at a compression quality this poor, the end banner will look even worse. This isn’t something a designer can fix. We CAN make a large image smaller — NOT the other way around.

The Skewed

Do NOT shape your photo into a square. You are ruining the original image by doing this. VEVO banners are NEVER square and we will NEVER need an image skewed into a square. We are creating a banner, not posting a photo to instagram. This is an additional and unnecessary step. Again, if the photo you are looking at doesn’t look like natural human form, it’s a bad photo.

The Selfie

Do NOT send cellphone photos, webcam photos, or selfies. This should be self explanatory. When a popular musician is on the cover of a magazine you can be certain the photographer didn’t use an iPhone. You shouldn’t either.

The Cropped

We’ve gone over why you shouldn’t skew yourself into a square shape, but you should also not crop your images. On a full body shot more often than not, we have missing elbows, missing ears, missing legs, missing hands, etc. . If you don’t have access to any other photos and the quality is satisfactory you can get away with a crop but — if the image wasn’t already cropped DON’T CROP IT.

In summation, if you aren’t a professional at design or photo manipulation you should probably leave it to us. We can definitely give you exactly what you are looking for. All you have to do is ask.

Artist Logos

The Good

When sending your logo there are a few options for you to get us the best quality copy. You can either provide us with a vectorized version (EPS, AI, SVG), a layered version (PSD, TIFF), a high resolution PNG with transparency, or a copy of your font (commercial fonts require licensing and we will NOT buy a font for you). Another alternative in the way of free fonts is to provide us with the family name or a download link. In addition, when we ask for a logo we don’t want a record label, management companies logo, or social media icons. We want your artist’s branding. That is all.

The Flashy

If you send a logo with transparency please do us a favor and remove any effects on the image. It is impossible to mask out a glow or shadow and we wind up needing to recreate them anyway. The only way this is acceptable is if the file format is PSD and you have preserved the layer’s effects. Otherwise — DON’T DO THIS. We can’t use a logo with sparkles, solar flares, or other effects on it. Let us know and we can add it after the logo is a part of our design.

The Flattened

Don’t send a logo flattened to a background. For the same reasons as above — please do not do this. It only hurts the expedition of your banner and creates more unnecessary work for the team.

The Flattened Part II

Please don’t send your album art or promo poster art with a flattened logo. If someone made these assets for you, that same person has a masked copy of your logo. Please get us that file.

The Commercial

As stated before — We will not buy you a font. If you are using a commercial font for your logo, please send it to us with the appropriate licensing. We spend more time trying to hunt down a free alternative than we do working on your banner.

The Tiny

Same rules that apply to your promo photos apply here. Please don’t send us microscopic imagery with the intentions of filling a television screen. Again, you CAN make a large image smaller. NOT the other way around.

The Layout

First things first — You pay for design NOT for real estate. Just because you provided 300 photos doesn’t mean that they all NEED to be used. Take a look at the above image. The only content that REALLY matters is that blue area. This area should be used to a) Showcase artist Imagery b) showcase the artist’s branding c) advertise a new album, single, or sale. You don’t need social media icons. They won’t be clickable anyway. You can add social media links through VEVO/YouTube so let’s leave those out of the design. The yellow and red areas are typically not seen and the wine colored area is only visible on televisions. Please take this all into consideration when making revisions. We can all save a lot of time if you understand the lay of the land before making executive decisions on changes.

Let’s Work Together

If you’ve read all of the above and wholly digested it, you will no doubt be satisfied with your VEVO banner design. A few final things to take into consideration are as follows;

  • We are not developing branding for you.
  • We are not designing your logo.
  • We are not hiding your blemishes.
  • We are not making album art for you.
  • We are not filling up real estate.

Thank you so much for your time. I hope this was helpful and can now be a vehicle to helping you create an industry level VEVO banner!

-By: Dan Vassallo – Graphic Design / Front End Development – After touring nationally / internationally for years in the band For The Foxes, he decided to take a break from the daily grind of being in a mobile outfit. Dan currently enjoys doing behind the scenes work developing artist’s designs through the company as well as contributing to Vydia’s growth in any way he can.