Sunday, October 25, 2009


And just in time for Halloween... Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls and people of all colors and ages, KISS! Now, we don't know what it was and/or is about these cats (well, we have some hunches) but Kiss were on some other @$IT back in the years! Regardless of detractors and critics, the crew, coming out of Queens, NY (yes, the very same home of the legendary "KINGS OF ROCK", RUN DMC), according to Gene Simmons (AKA the demon) the band placed a premium on rock band dynamics and visual communications- focusing on branding and designing the group a distinct visual identity and aesthetic. And unless I'm trippin' (it's possible), I certain that I vaguely remember hitting the night street with candy bag in hand dressed up as the KISS demon for Halloween.

The other interesting thing about KISS and their brand design, it seemed to touch all manner of fans.
There are a handful of Rock bands that Black folks love(d) through the 70's and 80's. And yes, by the 70's Rock music was considered by most to be a "White thing". Why? I don't understand. But we'll digress. Usually this love for particular White Rock bands was due to something quite obvious- "THE FUNK FACTOR". If a Rock band's sound was funy enough Black folks would be down. Yes, you'd find Queen's records in the Black woman's collection. Yes, you'd find Led Zepplin in the Brother man's record crate. Yes to the Steve Miller Band. They all shared a measure of the Funk placed in grooves of their grooves. Which makes KISS so intersting to us. They were not particularly funky. And we can't recall too many of their songs being hits or personal favorites. But yet many of us loved KISS. So what was it about the group? Not to be superficial but we're thinking that a lot of it had to do with how the band looked. The group's visual sense and presentation struck at the center of our very young imaginations. They were larger than life, futuristic, demonic, suprnatuarally space faced, axe bassed mother_uckers. Of course, you may disagree. That's fine but we think we're on to something here.

So, being designers, we're gonna blow this band a kiss for desiging a straight up wondrfully twisted identity for itself.

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