Blog: Music for Graphic Design

Music has always been a big part of my life. To begin with I was named after the iconic Southern Gospel musician Hovie Lister. I also had the amazing fortune to grow up in the 70s-90s experiencing the best of rock and roll, outlaw country, new wave, and alternative music. I took lessons on the piano, violin, and guitar but my call was for the visual arts. So, of course, I find great inspiration in music when creating my graphic design solutions.

The genres change from day to day and from project to project. For really intense, thoughtful jobs I start with Classical to get the synapses firing. Maybe I need to create something more edgy in which case I go to early 90s Alternative with bands from my college days in Seattle like Nirvana, Alice in Chains, or Soundgarden leading the way. A design for a BBQ sauce or ranch property definitely call for country with anyone from Hank Jr. to Hardy. In between I’ll go from the Classic Rock of AC/DC or Def Leppard to the fun sounds of New Wave favorites from Madness, Thompson Twins, or Oingo Boingo.

It’s odd to me when I meet people who are all about just one genre and refuse to be open about anything else. For me all music has special qualities than can be harnessed and used to change moods or to inspire great graphic designs. So if you ever find yourself hanging out in my studio, chances are you’ll be hearing what some may think is a crazy mix of music. To me it’s just the background track that gets my creative flowing.

— Hovie Hawk

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