Memorable Band Logos of the Past 30 Years
Logos are great marketing tools that can make virtually any product instantly recognizable. That product includes rock bands. Think about it: if you saw a logo with a pair of lips and a red tongue hanging out, would you not immediately know it was the Rolling Stones’ logo? A great logo, like a great band, is memorable and timeless. Here are our picks for the coolest band logos of all time.
10. Public Enemy
The image of a black man visible in a rifle’s cross-hairs is perhaps the most recognizable rap logo of all time and it belongs to Public Enemy. Their name, logo and lyrics clearly let you know where the members of Public Enemy stand on the topics of politics and the social climate.
9. Dead Kennedys
A white and black DK on a red and black background is well designed and artistic. Appearing on almost every album the Dead Kennedys made, the logo was designed, it is rumored, to be easily spray-painted on any surface.
The band’s name is set against a globe and surrounded by four lightning bolts. Not only does it leave no doubt as to the group behind the symbol but it pays tribute to Nikola Tesla, after whom the band was named.
Singer and guitar master James Hetfield designed the group’s two logos himself. The better known of the two, the band’s name in large, angular script, appeared on the band’s albums and business cards until the new logo was introduced in 1996.
6. Guns N Roses
Though we miss the days when the band didn’t suck, the logo remains tried and true. Two guns facing in opposite directions, wrapped with roses and centered between the band’s name, the logo has lent itself to tattoos around the globe.
5. Van Halen
The logo for Van Halen, a stylized VH, would look right at home on the front bumper of any car in America. Many don’t know that the wings of the letters were switched from plain to curvy to announce the departure of lead singer David Lee Roth and to welcome Sammy Hagar into his place.
4. Scissor Sisters
Who could mistake these scissors as anything but the band’s logo? A simple pair of scissors is given a makeover with a pair of high-heeled legs where the blades would be.
Making what we hope is a joke of their name, the logo was surprisingly uncontroversial. An adapted spanner was labeled with the group’s name and had a decidedly fallice-like feel.
2. RUN DMC
The simple and stark logo of RUN DMC, the rap group’s name flanked by a red line at the top and bottom, was as recognizable in its day as it is now. The logo adorned boom boxes everywhere and was seen across the chests of teenagers all over the world.
1. Smashing Pumpkins
The simplistic heart containing an SP has been carved into school desks and drawn on notebooks of fans everywhere. Beautiful in its minimalism, the logo will be in our minds for a lifetime.
Logos, like any great marketing tool, serve to keep products in the minds of the consuming public long after those products have outlived their use. Rock logos are no different and, while there are hundreds of bands with great logos, these are the ones that we’ll never forget.
Avery Petersen consults small businesses on their marketing strategies. Logomojo.com is his trusted partner in providing logo designs that stand out in a crowd.