Murder Hornets Logo and Branding Case Study

You remember the Murder Hornets, right? Didn’t they play at Warped Tour back in 2008?

No, Murder Hornets is not, to my knowledge, the name of a band. It is in fact, the catchy nickname given to the invasive species of Giant Asian hornet that turned up in North America in 2019. But doesn’t it sound like a cool band name?

“Murder Hornets” is one of several fictional brands I created as exercises to build my branding portfolio. I started with brainstorming a list of random band or business names (the free generator Namelix is great for this). Then I set about creating a logo and branding kit for each brand. For some brands, I re-used some of my old digital illustrations as album covers or t-shirt designs. I even created website mockups for a few.

In this case, I decided Murder Hornets is a hypothetical punk/metal band, with a somewhat post-apocalyptic theme. I created the logo along with an album cover to denote a loud, aggressive, somewhat edgy feel to the band’s aesthetic. The light neon green contrasted with deep magenta is a favorite color pairing of mine, and really makes the logo “pop” despite the somewhat busy background.

The background itself is a matte painting of a post-apocalyptic landscape I created for a different project in 2020. It utilizes pieces from photobash.org and other stock sites for its decrepit, trash-littered vision of a dystopian future. Finally I dropped the best stock images of hornets I could find (although sadly, not the murder hornets themselves).

The Branding Kit

I now usually create the branding kit before creating any images like album covers or product mock-ups, but as this was my first project of this type, I did things a little backwards this time. Using the album cover as a base, I came back over a year later and put together the definitive brand logos, colors, and fonts for the band.

Murder Hornets Branding Kit
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December 28, 2021