The Art of Designing Bethel Music's Spotify Playlists
Easily one of my favorite tasks at Bethel Music is my new role of Spotify designer and curator. Quick note: if you're here looking for the strategy of how we market and release our playlists - cheeky - try again mate!
What I want to share is a bit of the history of Bethel Music, Spotify and my involvement with both - plus I'll explain my design choices for these playlists.
First, a little history...It's hard to believe, but Bethel Music has only really got behind Spotify's playlist feature within the last few months. In fact, it was only late December when me and JP sat down to dream up what Spotify could look like for Bethel Music.
If you're unfamiliar with Spotify, it's the world's largest online music portal - home to almost any song, album, or artist that you can think of. Bethel Music has been on Spotify since it launched, but we only used it for album and single releases. We've had playlists on our profile for years, but they've always been pretty much left for dead, until 2018.
Now, one thing you need to know about me, for any of this to make even the remotest sense - I live and breathe music; with praise and worship being my oxygen. So naturally, I jumped at the chance to be our Spotify curator and designer, it's literally a beautiful combination of my two loves - music and art.
About the design...When set with the task of not just curating these playlists for Bethel Music, but creating all the marketing and promotional assets for each one, it was honestly quite daunting. I remember sitting at my computer wondering how on earth I could make our playlists stand out amongst the already crowded stage of Spotify playlists.
That's when it hit me, why stand out when it's smarter to fit in.
Hang on a minute, doesn't that almost sound counter-cultural to what everyone would say when it comes to design and creativity? Yes, which is exactly why I wanted to test a new theory I'd come across - take an already established brand aesthetic, emulate it - whilst making it our own - and build on the already established "trust" that people have with Spotify.
Spotify has a great brand already in play - simple colors, bold typefaces, iconic imagery - it's this aesthetic that I wanted to emulate and build upon for the Bethel Music playlists.
So, that's what I've done. Taking a photographic and texture approach, I've used a bold sans serif typeface to communicate that these playlists are friendly, but strong, fun and professional. Add to that a well cropped, perfectly clear-cut image of a worship leader / songwriter atop a pop color, and BAM, that's the basic gist behind our Spotify playlists.
Okay, I'll give you one little marketing tip - every time the playlist is updated, change the cover photo. That might seem overwhelming at first, but I find it super refreshing - it's like getting to re-create an album cover everytime you shuffle the songs.
If you're a personal Spotify user you still have the option of making your own cover graphics - and I'd highly encourage you to explore what you can do with them! Have fun, make something that expresses you as a person - something that showcases your taste; how you see the world.
Much love friends, don't stop leading those around you in worship - no matter your platform or medium x