To mark The Rolling Stones’ 50th anniversary a couple of years ago, the band asked artist Shepard Fairey to update their iconic tongue logo with a new design (pictured). The tongue was first used on the ‘Sticky Fingers’ album sleeve in 1971 and designed by John Pasche. It inspired us to look back at some other classic moments in music iconography.
Another classic metal design, with the childish backwards ‘R’ calling to mind the terrifying “RED RUM” sequence in ‘The Shining’. After the band’s 1996 debut ‘Life Is Peachy’ came out, fellow nu-metal icon Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit tattooed the logo onto Korn guitarist Brian Welch’s back.
English artist Roger Dean has carved out a reputation for fantastical, colour-drenched landscapes, many of which adorn Yes album covers – along with the “bubble” logo he debuted on the band’s 1972 LP ‘Close To The Edge.’
Designed by drummer Paul Thomson (who once posed as a nude model at Glasgow School Of Art), this logo, like much of Franz Ferdinand’s artwork, was inspired by Russian avant-garde imagery.
Bandleader Greg Ginn’s brother, artist Raymond Pettibon, designed the punk band’s trademark four black bars. Dave Grohl attempted to tattoo this logo on his left forearm when he was 12, but gave up after three bars (not the full four) because it was so painful.
Appearing on The Grateful Dead’s 1974 live double album ‘Steal Your Face’, it was a GD roadie who came up with the idea for the logo. He saw a similar design on a road sign and thought it would be a good motif to print on the band’s equipment as a way of identifying it.
Ditching the old-fashioned ‘typewriter’ font used on second album ‘Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge’, My Chemical Romance frontman – a graduate of New York’s School Of Visual Arts – designed this scratchier, angrier logo for the band’s third album ‘The Black Parade’.
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.
The iconic jagged lettering was created for Metallica’s first album ‘Kill Em All’ by singer/guitarist James Hetfield in 1983. Controversially, it was changed to a blander version for 1996’s ‘Load’ album – although the stabbing ‘M’ and ‘A’ were reinstated for 2003’s ‘St Anger’.
The Nine Inch Nails logo was designed in 1989 by Trent Reznor and Gary Talpas, who worked as art director on ‘Pretty Hate Machine’, ‘Head Like A Hole’, ‘The Downward Spiral’ and ‘Further Down the Spiral’. The design was inspired by the sleeve of Talking Heads’ ‘Remain In Light’ album.
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.
As the band’s name is an acronym for the two couples in the group – Agnetha & BjÃ¶rn, and Benny & Anni-Frid – Swedish designer Rune SÃ¶derqvist wanted the two B’s to face each of their respective partner A’s.
Simple yet effective, this no-nonsense logo found its way onto countless badges, patches and T-shirts in the late ’70s.
One of punk rock’s most enduring images was actually plagiarised. In 1979, Misfits frontman Glenn Danzig saw the skull on a poster for the film ‘The Crimson Ghost’ and decided to use it himself.
Glam, snarky and imperfect, the New York Dolls’ smudged lipstick logo nodded a head to their past in fashion, and to their future in protopunk.
The xx chose their name because they liked the way that the two x’s sat together. So it makes sense that their logo would emphasise it.
Reminiscent of the logos of classic new wave bands such as the Cars, The Strokes’s chrome logo tipped a hat to their knowing indie sound.
Though Slipknot’s logo doesn’t actually include the titular knot, it is alluded to in the stylised gothic ‘S’.
Psychedelic group Phish have hidden a few things in their logo. Count the amount of gills the Phish fish has, and the air bubbles. Yep, 4/20 4/20. Hardly a coincidence.
Designed by graphic artist Stanley Donwood, and Thom Yorke (under the alias ‘Tchock’), Radiohead’s ‘modified bear’ first appeared on the artwork for ‘Kid A’.
The Pixies’ logo was designed by Chris Bigg for the artwork for 1991’s ‘Alec Eiffel’, off final album ‘Trompe Le Monde’. The logo’s stuck around since though, on t-shirts and promo items.
Created by artist Paul Romano, Mastodon’s logo strikes a balance between their clean instrumentation, and the heavier aspects of their output. Unlike other metal groups, Mastodon have opted for a neat, legible font. No gothic lettering here.
The flying double-‘F’s of the Foo Fighters’ logo bring to mind the origin’s of the groups’ name. A ‘Foo Fighter’ was a WW2 slang term used by pilots to describe flying fireballs that they saw from their planes.