Sounds good, looks good
People love artists because of their songs, but sometimes record labels, the business-end of the music, can get a raw deal. Fans can idolise the singer but forget the talent-spotters and curatorial minds that keep the best record labels in business, pushing music forward, for decades.
That’s why branding is crucial to a good label – they want fans to see their logo and buy the album, even if it’s an artist they’ve never heard of. People love band t-shirts, and garments repping record labels are no different — to the label they build brand recognition and trust, and to the listeners they’re a distinctive marker of taste and musical tribe. Here are some of the best record label tees around, ranging from classics to exciting new music collectives.
One of the best-known labels in independent music, spanning the underground as well as Adele, FKA twigs and Radiohead, their bold logo gets its message across in two simple letters.
Not just one of the best indie labels around, but also a legendary record shop that has fiercely defended underground music for decades. Their t-shirt design channels a rough-and-ready aesthetic, with text like crumpled paper.
This tee from the rising Lisbon-based electronic label (recently featured on our sister company, Everpress) performs a simple but clever flip on a logo we all know.
More than a clever pun (it’s not a discman’s world anymore), the Discwoman collective champion female and non-binary talent in electronic music with style. Their simple t-shirt designs twist Sony’s original Discman logo, while their ‘Technofeminism’ tees have also proved popular.
This NYC house label has a great history with merchandise, taking their medical theme to heart and even packaging records like hayfever pills. Their t-shirt looks uncannily like a pharmaceutical logo.
Will Bankhead is a designer at heart, and his DIY label has always championed aesthetics as much as lofi electronic music. They’ve always got great new tees in stock, and even did a successful collaboration with skate brand Palace a few years back.
The iconic UK label, home to artists such as Bonobo and Bicep, prints tees showing its cute mascot, the vinyl-slinging ninja which has overseen their music since 1990.
It started as Amsterdam’s best dance music festival, but Dekmantel is now a juggernaut, with a record label issuing house and disco bangers all year round. Rep the brand with this font-first design.
The legendary Manchester home of artists like Joy Division, New Order and Happy Mondays is represented by a simple image of a jagged factory chimney billowing smoke.
Their logo looked sci-fi in the 90s, and it still retains a nostalgic futurism. This groundbreaking label is probably the UK’s greatest contribution to electronic music, and their logo plays a small part in their enduring legacy.
Need t-shirt or merch printing for your record label, club night or fashion brand? At ICON Printing we offer fast turnaround t-shirt printing, counting clients from Boiler Room to WeWork, the Tate to Niketown. Get a quote in 2 minutes online.