In high school a few friends and I started a band. We called ourselves “Volaticus” and knew we were on the brink of rock band fame and glory. Shortly after our first gig we had designed up a logo and were dreaming about making t-shirts and stickers. Unfortunately Volaticus never survived past its second performance.
Many times when we’re dreaming and beginning new ventures, the first thing we think of is the visuals that will represent us. While we should be developing our substance, we pour our energies into our appearance. In our visions of grandeur we get the right clothes, the coolest gear, a cool logo and shiny website, before we’ve even booked a gig.
“Meeting a person who wrote a masterpiece on the back of a deli menu would not surprise me. Meeting a person who wrote a masterpiece with a silver Cartier fountain pen on an antique writing table in an airy SoHo loft would SERIOUSLY surprise me.”
– Hugh McCleod “How to Be Creative”
Sometimes those things are necessary – it’s hard to start an online business without a website, and sometimes a logo or name gives your crew something to rally around – but we often spend more time developing the bells and whistles, rather than developing the core of our plan, our skills and our identity. And in my experience, if you’re printing stickers before you have a gig, that’s all your band may ever become.