Branding the Joshua Tree Music Festival

I love a good music festival – day drinking, sleeping on the ground, eating Lunchables that have been floating in a cooler full of water, dehydration, portapotties, THE HEAT… oh right… and music!

When choosing a large-scale event to brand, I knew I wanted to do a music festival. Since I’m still getting my sea-legs on the Adobe design programs, I decided to make the center of my branding, which would carry throughout all the pieces I create, a gradient background – which I heard is VERY in right now.

Personally, I don’t love a gradient. I think they’re kind of cheesy. But it’s a popular design element right now, and I knew I could work with it across different platforms and pieces. Since I had to luxury to retrofit the event to my design, I decided that I wanted to use a gradient that looked like the sunset and search out a music festival that takes place in the desert in order to utilize the rocky landscape as my second design element.

Of course, my first thought was Coachella, but I didn’t want to choose something quite so well known. Instead, I googled “desert music festival” and found the Joshua Tree Music Festival. After browsing their website, I found a tag of “family, yoga, community, art” as well as a graphic that represented the statement “Live/Love like there’s no tomorrow.” These elements would also be incorporated throughout my designs.

I relied heavily on Adobe Illustrator this week since I’ve struggled with learning that platform. First, I created the 11″ x 17″ poster – the largest piece of collateral – because I figured it would give me the most room to work and it would need the most information.

I found a photo of the rocky landscape of Joshua Tree National Park on unsplash and removed the background using photoshop. I then brought it into illustrator and did a 10 color trace of the image, which left me with this cool flat illustration of the landscape. I used Adobe Color to choose a palette for a desert sunset which is used both in the gradient background as well as the text. For the poster, I opted to use a QR code that passersby could quickly scan to visit the website or purchase tickets.

Next, I saved a copy of the poster as a flyer and adjusted the artboard size down to 5.8″ x 8.3″ which is also known as an A5 in print materials. I scaled down the text and removed the rocks to make more space for important information.

Since a flyer would be printed en masse for distribution, I included a web address for the festival’s website since there is a greater chance that people would interact with this piece of collateral in their homes or workplace.

VIP Invitation

One of the options for the Joshua Tree Music Festival is to rent one of their 24 RVs located in a trailer village. The website describes these trailers as “conveniently parked backstage” with a shared shaded common area, and access to semi-private port-o-lets.

I decided to use this backstage area as the basis for my VIP invitation. The idea is that upon arrival at their RV, VIP members would find this invitation directing them to pick up their VIP badge which would give them access to a special backstage VIP lounge.

Social Media

Social media is a marketer’s best friend (and worst enemy? Or maybe that’s just me.) Having an up-to-date, branded social media presence can spread excitement and a feeling of community about an event.

I used an Instagram post template in Photoshop to create these artist announcement mock-ups. The graphics for the post were created in Canva.


People love a commemorative t-shirt to remind them of their experience. These t-shirts also double as walking, living advertisements for future events.

I wasn’t sure how the gradient would print, and I know that the more colors you use in printing, the more expensive the product, so instead of using the gradient background, I opted to use a navy blue t-shirt to represent the night sky and enclose the Joshua Tree Music Festival branding with the illustration of the rocky landscape and an illustration of a full moon.

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