CUSTOM DRUM HEADS – 4 TRICKS OF THE TRADE
Our master craftsmen of custom drum heads have been making custom-designed drum heads for over ten years, giving the world’s most image-conscious bands, venues, and even sports teams that extra touch of branding pizzaz, and in record times.
The process of custom drum head printing is a little more complicated than one may think though, and we’ve become very familiar with it.
So without further ado, here are a few Tricks of the Trade to get the most out of your next custom drum head!
1) DON’T JUST REUSE OLD DESIGNS – DESIGN FOR THE DRUM HEAD
It’s important that your drum head images are correctly formatted to fit within the confines of the circle shape and account for the placement of the sound hole if used. You want to make sure the drum head will look good from a distance and catch the eyes of the fans. Ideally it should take advantage of the circular shape, not exist despite it.
Regarding logo/band name placement: we recommend not placing it dead-center. Rather, placing the drum head logo slightly higher than center balances the composition (remember the two-thirds, one-third rule), especially after the inclusion of the mic hole (which is often in the bottom hemisphere of the circle). Often times the mic hole placement is actually integrated into the design as part of the artwork (in the Toadies drum head pictured below you can see that the mic hole replaces the 0 in 20th Anniversary.)
Mic holes come in 4,5, and 6 inch varieties.
2) FIND THE RIGHT THICKNESS FOR DURABILITY / MAINTAINING TONE
After a thorough art proofing process, the artwork is printed on a 1 mil vinyl sticker, which is specially chosen to preserve the natural sound of the drum head while being strong enough to resists scratching and fading from sunlight.
After making sure that the print is up to our high-quality standards we are ready to start the installation.
3) PLACEMENT – DON’T THINK YOU HAVE TO TAKE UP ALL THE SPACE
Placing the vinyl on the head requires a great deal of finesse: both the vinyl placement and the mic hole installation are done by hand. Also done by hand is the optional removal of unused portions of the vinyl. We’ve done some really intricate designs in which most of the vinyl is actually removed to expose the color of the head itself, and to leave a custom-shaped high-quality sticker on the head. This looks especially cool if the head is transparent. Consider using the natural color of the drum head as the negative field in your design, and work with us to decide which portions of the design to remove to expose the head color.
4) DON’T WAIT – GET THE DRUM HEAD YOU NEED, WHEN YOU NEED IT
You only have one chance to make an impression for any given gig.
While creating a custom drumhead is a demanding process, we’ve fine-tuned each step such that we have the quickest turn-times in the industry. We’ve even designed, printed, and shipped custom drum heads in a day, which is necessary sometimes to meet the needs of our clients and their schedules.
And we ship all over the world, allowing us to reach performing acts on the road in the middle of their tours.
This dedication to quality and speed has won us the trust and opportunity to work with some fantastic clients over the years, from Brittany Spears and Carrie Underwood to Alice in Chains and Soundgarden. In fact, Coldplay just used our drumhead in their recent BBC performance for Sport Relief 2014, which just raised over $90 Million!
Some other drum head highlights include:
- The White Stripes – Hardest Button to Button video, 30+ drumheads created for the video
- Jack White – featured on Saturday Night Live performance
- Morrissey – drum head series incorporating the flag of each country visited on the tour
- Gwen Stefani – the oversized marching drum with the Gwen Stefani Key Logo in chrome print
- Pearl Jam – aa backlit drum head!
Apart from producing drum heads and world-famous backstage passes and custom VIP badges, we also create custom-designed speaker cabinet grills and stage backdrops. And ask about our tech-enabled live-event software platform that can turn on the badge for your fans, attendees, workers, and staff, to enhance the operations and the magic of your event.