Friday, January 30, 2015

Classic Rock - the branding of bands and custom typography

Think of your favorite classic rock bands--The WHo, ACDC, Led Zeppelin, etc.  The list goes on and on.  Each of these bands has an iconic typographically driven logo that has become an integral part of their branding.


Designed by lead guitarist Ace Frehley for their second album, the custom type has become as recognizable as the bands outfits. The most iconic part of the logo is the treatment of the "S"s as lightning strokes.

The Sex Pistols

 Designed by Jamie Reid for the Sex Pistols single "God Save The Queen", the rough cut out treatment of the type helped found the gritty punk rock aesthetic that still defines the music culture to this day.

The Beatles

Originally created in 1963 by Ivor Arbiter, the man that sold Ringo his drums, the type logo became a defining element of the band's identity with its small caps and "T" that drops through the baseline.


The band's logo debuted on their album, "Let There Be Rock." It was originally designed by Gerard Huerta who had based the letters on the blackletter type from the Gutenberg Bible.


Another internally designed type face, Metallica's signature jagged M and A came from their singer and guitarist James Hetfield for their first album cover.  Since its creation, the logo has been an important part of their branding except for their '96 album, "Load."

The Who

Oddly enough, the iconic pop art logo never appeared on any of their albums, or was commissioned by the band or record label. It was created by Brian Pike in 1964 for a poster advertising the group's gig at London's Marquee club. Since then, the image was proliferated thousands of times by fans until it became a defining element of the band's branding.

Bands and musicians from past decades and genres had branded themselves with a single custom typeface and a few icons or illustrations that remained present in all of their work. Oddly enough, it seems the current trend for bands when it comes to branding themselves is to change aesthetics, type, and imagery from album to album, and even from show to show.  This presents more opportunities for designers and allows for more creative solutions to their branding needs.

1 comment:

  1. which is the english song best of The Rolling Stones band. I heard it is in Top 10 Most Popular Rock Bands in all over world.