Every rock and rollband has a distinct logo to differentiate itself from the rest. From highly stylized logos to plain logos and everything in between, rock bands have made a statement for themselves through the power of suggestive imagery.In some cases, rock bands have even gone against their own managers and record labels to present what was then a provocative and controversial logo design. We’ve seen many iconic band logos in history, yet no matter how they look, the most famous rock and roll logos seem to be just the ones that evoke a sense of exhilaration and jubilation is us.With that being said, let’s take a look at some examples of the best rock and roll music logos.
1) Led Zeppelin
Black and white text in custom font with esoteric symbols forms the Led Zeppelin logo. Each of the four esoteric symbols represent a different member of the Led Zeppelin band who often played coy when asked for explanation on what they mean.The two circular ones were inspired by “Book of Signs” by Rudolf Koch and the feather inside a circle is said to be inspired by the legendary Mu civilization. The meaning of the “ZoSo” sign remains a mystery to this day, but perhaps, if you look closely, it could represent the face of some strange animal.
2) Rolling Stones
Red lips and red tongue with white upper teeth on black background, this is the Rolling Stones’ logo everyone is familiar with. The logo was designed during the 1970s by John Pasche, who at that time was an art student.Pasche pitched in when the band was getting frustrated with bland designs offered by the record company, Decca. He later told the story of how he met Mick Jagger for the very first time; his lips and mouth were so noticeable that he was instantly inspired to make the legendary Rolling Stones logo.
In striking red capital letters, AC and DC, separated by a lightning bolt on black background, this imagery is one that refers to “alternating current, direct current” electricity. The font used for this logo design is called Gothic and is inspired by the exact one used in Gutenberg’s Bible. The logo was made for AC/DC’s 1977 “Let There Be Rock” album that alludes to the biblical phrase “Let there be light” (Genesis 1:3).Prior to the logo we know now, the band’s logo has undergone many changes. They have experimented with different fonts, colors, and letter inclination, yet the notion behind it has always remained consistent – the band’s alternate, current, and direct music.
4) The Beach Boys
Black stylized letters reading “Beach Boys” with “The” riding over the second B as if though it were a wave. Curvy, wavy letters evoke the feeling of enjoying a sunny day at the oceanfront. The Beach Boys is a band that is known for mix of different music styles, such as rock and roll and jazz to arrive at a unique genre that matches their voices.Their use of instruments such as guitar, bass, the piano, the organ, and even an instrument that Paul Tanner invented himself for the song “Good Vibrations” helped produce music that is like no other rock band. This logo design is what truly represents the band’s signature beachy Californian sound.
This famous band sports a logo with sharp, angled, black letters resembling hieroglyphs on a white background. The logo went through several transformations, most notably where the letters were set on a curve. Interestingly, the Eagles initially got their band name when the members went on a tequila-fueled trip and spotted eagles in the desert. In a moment of inspiration, both their iconic name and logo were born.
6) Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd’s original logo depicted a prism turning white light into a rainbow spectrum of colors. The idea behind the logo was that even the simplest things can hold a whole new universe of wondrous experiences. Of course, it helped that the band was well-known in the music industry for their wonderful lighting production during their shows.Pink Floyd went through a string of logo revamps – at first, the logo was just the prism that later turned into a simple white “Pink Floyd” logo in thin, cursive letters. Eventually, it evolved into a simple “PF” as the band’s musical DNA had changed.
Aerosmith’s logo is comprised of a winged letter “A” that stands above a wavy “AEROSMITH” text. Originally, the logo was designed with the band’s name in small caps but was soon changed into something closer to what it looks like today. At one point in 1979, Aerosmith’s logo was the band’s name painted over a cracked rock. From 1982, it transformed into the logo we all know and recognize.
8) The Beatles
The black and white logo of The Beatles has a larger “B” and a curious “T” in a custom font named “The Bootle”. The origin of the logo hails back to when the band was first starting out and had to arrange their equipment on their own. A local painter created the logo on a drum kit for the price of 5 GBP.Now you may be asking, so why the strange “B” and “T” letters? The answer to that is that the brand wanted to emphasize the word “beat”, something that the Beatles are popular known for to this day.
The logo design for Queen is a remarkable piece of art, or as one might say, heraldry. Queen’s logo showcases two lions, one of which is unchained, a phoenix, two fairies and even a crab all gathered around a crown inside a ribbon.Freddie Mercury, an art student himself, designed the logo to portray pride, a sense of regal elegance, and the zodiac signs of each band member. Filled with details and amazing colors, Queen’s logo is something that will always remain unforgettable and inspiring.
Besides having grown up in the design Industry, Christiaan has advised some of the world’s largest companies on their branding & packaging designs. Has been the resident judge for design awards, and has spoken at numerous global design & marketing events. Christiaan founded the London office of the award-winning Cartils agency, and has founded the DesignBro.com platform.