RR Anderson, DIY Cultural Arts Specialist

Nov. 17, 2011 at 9:19pm

Barter Trade! How I designed the Death By Stars space rock band logo

In exchange for a LEARN 2 DRAW theme song

Patrick Galactic of the band Death By Stars contacted me awhile back about how much it would cost to get an original RR Anderson designed logo for his space-rock-electronica-punk-band. $125 dollars an hour! Said I. Thanks came the reply, will talk it over with the band. Added that I would also consider a barter trade for theme music. A cartoonist can never have enough theme music in this day and age... with the youtube and podcasting, one had better get an original theme song! This brightened the mood. YES! Said they, we create music! A trade then! 

The Band's Vision... 

INPUT: "Death By Stars - As far as our visual influences go, we are inspired by Warhol, Alphonse Mucha, Max Ernst, Kubrick (2001 specifically), Dave McKean, Tarantino etc. I LOVE the Golden Harvest logo (the studio that made all the Bruce Lee movies) so maybe something that had a touch of something similar but more colorful? Basically we are into bold colors with strong graphic images. I am a comic fan as well (not the biggest, but I read a lot) and love the bold texts used for covers and intro pages. Anyway, I don't know how helpful that is. I will gladly send you some images to reference tonight. This sounds like it's going to be fun! Thanks R.R."

 They liked the LOOK AND FEEL of these things:
[ Mucha]

  [Max Ernst] 

 They also really liked the vibe of 2001 A Space Odyssey...  

and REALLY REALLY liked the old Golden Harvest Kung Fu movie studio logo...  

 I took the initiative and decided to stick in some old radio shack computer ads (which I love)... 

 and if you're talking death; need some skulls...  


FEEDBACK: "Very cool stuff!!! We really like the floating cube motif. That is an idea I'd love to zoom in on. I also really like the screaming skull starburst under the 80's tribute text. I like the 80's text as well, we are big comi fans so the more fantasmic the better. Very cool stuff. Really like the ninja star idea as well. Basically we haven't narrowed it down much but we love were you are headed. I'd say the floating cubes and the skull starburst are the two ideas I am most attached to. Great stuff! Thanks so much." 

 narrowed down...


 Playing with vectorization...  

 3D! stripped down... splatter photoshop brush, looks like stars to me!  


FEEDBACK: "Very cool ideas here! We all love the font. I like the skull, my guitarist and keyboardist aren't as sure about it. They are worried it's too dark or bleak. We are dark so it works for me! I like the actual vector part of the art a lot too, would love to see this with some other colors (for comparison). Could we see it with a bright pink background and a bright red background? My keyboardist would like to see some more actual stars incorporated into the logo. Are you open to working with the floating cubes still? We loved that idea, it's a little more abstract (which we are fans of) and we could do some cool stuff with colors there too. Thanks very much for the awesome ideas and great work, RR! I'll have a rough mix of Learn2Draw to you tonight, based on your feedback I will refine the mix and we will get it knocked out this week! Yes!!!!" 


FEEDBACK: "Awesome, awesome stuff. And, as I'm sure happens frequently, the band thinks all we need is the text logo. We like the skull but we feel the text logo with the stars and cubes is perfect by itself. Easy to re-print and only two colors! It is what we envisioned. Thank you so much, it's awesome!" 


 one color version:


 two color version:

Epilogue from Client: "we made DBS shirts using the logo you made. They are quite popular! ... people have actually stopped to read mine and a front desk guy at a hotel actually took a picture of it! We've gotten a ton of compliments!"


The official LEARN2DRAW TeeVee show theme created by DEATH BY STARS!

comments [11]  |  posted under barter trade, cartoonist at work, community, culture exchange, death by stars, logo design, rock band, tacoma, tacomic


by TDI-Reporters-Notebook on 11/18/2011 @ 12:45am
nice job. cool design. another great example of your artistic skills beyond the tacomic.

folks, r.r. also did a cool design for the cover of my book, which was a barter deal, too, and for which i'm very grateful.

hopefully more people learn you are available for hire / barter.

by JesseHillFan on 11/18/2011 @ 5:57am
Excellent logo RR very retro early 80's look to it

by NineInchNachos on 11/18/2011 @ 8:28am
Yeah! Check out TDI-Reporter's ebook!

+ + +

Wah Mee by Todd Matthews
Permalink: amzn.com/B005K0XU1Q

+ + +

way more creepy and senseless than King of Methlehem... because Wah Mee mass murder was REAL!

by thriceallamerican on 11/18/2011 @ 9:04am
Man, who doesn't love a theme song that ends with an explosion. As all songs should end.

by NineInchNachos on 11/18/2011 @ 9:31am
I have entered into another barter trade! Mr. Galactic needs a logo for his solo projects and I need a theme song for RADIO FREE TACOMIC THE PODCAST!

by Mofo from the Hood on 11/18/2011 @ 11:53pm
This Death By Stars logo was a tough assignment. The band did say that they like bold colors with strong graphic images.

I can see now that my concept was way off:
Picture a gang of vivid orange starfish atop the prostrate skeleton of Kurt Cobain.

by low bar on 11/19/2011 @ 8:25pm
I think you should make that picture anyways.

by Maria on 11/19/2011 @ 9:16pm
Cool logo, and the theme song is excellent. Thanks for sharing the process.

by fredo on 11/20/2011 @ 12:30pm
That barter/ trade thing is a great way to save paying income taxes It's like your own mini-General Electric tax loophole.

by NineInchNachos on 11/20/2011 @ 1:59pm
people are corporations!

by JesseHillFan on 11/20/2011 @ 7:08pm
^ +1 RRAndersonMart.


political cartoonist Your Friendly Neighborhood Political Cartoonist


TIP LINE: email me, TWITTER OR CALL (253) 778-6786

RR Anderson is one of the most curious characters in the UFO lore and the history of underground cartooning. He fought bizarre underground beings in the caves of Alaska, was wounded by a laser before it was invented, and had a background with the clandestine branch of the Tacoma Cartoonists Society.

For seekers unafraid to be discernibly turgid in a time of drastic change, we recommend:

Tacomic Book volume 001


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"may the great winged turtle flap her wind upon us all" ~ Dr. FA Neekburn, 1889

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