Often referred to by the band as the “angel’s asshole”, this circular motif was designed by Red Hot Chili Peppers frontman Anthony Kiedis sometime around 1984. Disagree with our choices? You can vote for the best band logos ever.
Designed by Alan Forbes for The Offspring’s ‘Conspiracy Of One’ album in 2000, this skull logo, according to pictogram.blogspot.com, “points out that the cosmos of vengeance and lust for justice burning in one’s head can be – without the support and reinforcement of like-minded individuals – doomed to failure if it’s just one man tearing up the plans.”
Chuck D designed this logo himself in 1986. Many at the time assumed the figure caught in the target scope was supposed to be a cop, but Chuck D insists it was just a “B-Boy”. He explains: “I silhouetted E-Love, LL Cool J’s right-hand man, in a fanzine named ‘Right On’ with Magic Marker, X-acto-knifed it out then layed a target scope over it, using Wite-Out within the blackened figure. After some runs through the copier – presto.”
Contrary to popular belief, this pop art-inspired logo has actually never appeared on an album by The Who. It was designed by Brian Pike in 1964 for a poster advertising the group’s gig at London’s Marquee club. It subsequently found its way onto thousands of badges, becoming a key element of mod iconography.
‘Led Zeppelin IV’ – the band’s untitled fourth album – was originally listed in Atlantic Records’ catalogue as ‘Four Symbols’, a reference to the sequence of four runes featured on the reverse of the album sleeve. This first one supposedly represents guitarist Jimmy Page, although some fans assumed it was a word, pronouncing it as “Zoso”.
This logo is always accompanied by the Finnish goth-rockers’ world-famous heartagram symbol. A combination of a heart and a pentagram, it has been described by frontman Ville Valo as a “Modern Yin Yang.” ‘Jackass’ star Bam Margera was so taken with the symbol he paid Valo for the right to use it on his own merchandise.
In addition to this cracked typeface, the hardcore pioneers also used a circular motif, which according to frontman Bob Mould symbolized the creative commonality between the band members despite their differing personalities. Mould explained: “The circle is the band, the three lines across are the members, and the intersection is the common train of thought.”
Designed by Atlantic Records VP and creative art director Bob Defrin, AC/DC’s now-legendary logo made its debut on the international edition of ‘Let There Be Rock.’ It is one of four logos in our Top 50 to feature lightning bolts, the others being Kiss, Metallica, and The Grateful Dead. Interestingly, designer Gerard Huerta based the typeface on writing he’d first seen the Gutenberg Bible – the first ever printed book.
Magazines wishing to review Justice’s debut album were told they had to refer to it in print with a crucifix symbol (although Amazon stubbornly call it ‘Cross’) – leading to subbing quarrels across the land. The logo has since come into its own at Justice’s live shows, providing a glowing backdrop to the Parisian duo’s turntable heroics.
Designed by Jamie Reid for the Sex Pistols single “God Save The Queen”, released in July 1977, and ultimately the “Never Mind the Bollocks” LP, the cut-out lettering meshed perfectly with the torn T-shirts and safety pins dreamt up by Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood as a visual hook for punk rock.
With its simple black and white lettering recalling Ivor Arbiter’s famous Beatles design, Oasis’ trademark logo has appeared on all of the band’s album covers, apart from ‘Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants’ (where it was replaced by a transparent effort designed by guitarist Gem Archer) and forthcoming release ‘Dig Out Your Soul’.
The Rolling Stones’ world-famous tongue logo, first used on their 1971 ‘Sticky Fingers’ album and recently purchased by the Victoria & Albert Museum for Â£50,000, was designed by art student John Pasche in 1970.
Pasche was paid just Â£50 for the logo, and a further Â£200 in 1972. The logo was inspired not just by Mick Jagger’s famous mouth but also that of the Hindu goddess Kali.
Lead singer Freddie Mercury, a London art-school graduate, designed the Queen Crest. Surrounding the letter “Q” are the four band members’ zodiac signs. You can vote for the best band logos ever.
Groundbreaking Staten Island hip-hop collective Wu-Tang Clan got its unmistakable Batman-style trademark from DJ Allah Mathematics. Already well-versed in the art of graffiti when he joined the Wu, his design found its way onto countless Clan album covers. What do you think of our Top 50? You can vote for the best band logos ever.