One sheet

By mic on 9/20/2011

I just watched CDBaby's video on one-sheet. I admit that I am not very good at marketing and the thought of having a one-sheet never occurred to me.

What is a "one-sheet"? It is a one page publicity material designed to provide quick information about something. The usual example of a one-sheet is the movie poster. It is a quick piece of information about the movie that is designed to capture the interest of movie goers. A one-sheet for a band could be similar. Or it could be different. Either way, it would be a one page piece of paper that provides information about the band or the band's new release. It would generally advertise the band and would capture the interest of the reader. The reader itself could be a record company or a media outlet. Alternatively, the record company could send out a one-sheet to fans in an attempt to capture fan interest.

At first I thought that the one-sheet should just be called a "resume". But the resume is different. It would contain more detail than a one-sheet. A resume, in fact, could contain too much detail. Too much detail would probably lose most readers. For example, a band could produce a resume that lists all releases and more prominent performances, but that would be overkill. Alternatively, a band could just put together a one-sheet that contains only information about its latest release in a way that captures attention. The important thing to remember about the one-sheet is: it should not contain too much detail and it should display information in a way that captures attention.

A one-sheet then would contain at least:

artist name
short bio
contact info

If there is a release (maybe an album), then the one-sheet will also contain:

album art
track list
updated bio to include the new release

Obviously, the more important and eye-capturing stuff should be the more visible one. Movie posters typically include scenes with famous actors and display less interesting facts with small print. Most movies have:

critic quotes

I have not seen many examples of one-sheets for releases with taglines and quotes, but it could work. Most recommendations for a band release one-sheet that I have seen talk about highlighting the name of the band or the name of the release. Those are the things that should be most memorable. If the one-sheet is about a performance, then it should clearly indicate the place and time of performance.

One interesting thing that I saw about the one-sheet was a recommendation on Wikipedia to include the names of tracks that might be in violation of FCC rules (U.S. FCC rules are specific to the U.S., of course). The CDBaby video did not talk about having a separate list for those tracks and I am guessing that this is not that important. Perhaps it is useful if the one-sheet is to go to a radio station and is to be accompanied by a copy of the new album. I am guessing that even then the track names would be in small print. I am also guessing that Wikipedia refers to FCC rules on indecency and profanity, which are, as is usual with FCC rules, unclear, but aggressively enforced. These rules would be a great topic for another post.

What is next? I am not particularly versed in the visual arts. Thus, I will probably turn to a graphic designer. The one-sheet seems to be all too important to be left to an amateur like me.

authors: mic


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