The best band logos don’t always imply professionalism, unlike corporate logos. Instead, they are trippy, edgy, provocative and bold—a reflection of classic and progressive rock from the 60’s and 70’s. Here are some of our favourite band logos, from The Rolling Stones’ ‘Hot Lips’ to Nirvana’s neon yellow smiley face.
- The Rolling Stones
Perhaps the most recognizable band logo in the history of rock is that of the English rock group’s ‘Hot Lips’ symbol. The logo is a representation of the Hindu goddess of energy Kali, who is depicted with a huge mouth and tongue, as well as an enlarged representation of Mick Jagger’s mouth.
Grunge, an alternative rock genre popularised by the band Nirvana, is best exemplified by the dark-yet-funny smiley face logo. The X-shaped eyes, protruding tongue and crooked mouth give the traditional smiley a gritty and provocative spin.
The rock band’s logo screams freedom! The icon in the centre seems to be moving, spreading its wings, while the circle around the letter ‘A’ resembles the anarchy symbol.
- Bon Jovi
The anguish of heartbreak is one of the most well-known musical themes represented by Bon Jovi’s insignia logo. The bloodied dagger and heart together elicit sensitivity and gothic undertones.
- Red Hot Chili Peppers
The eight-pronged ‘Star of Affinity’ of the Red Hot Chili Peppers emblem is thought to represent both the cardinal directions and the chaos and choices in one’s life. It is the focal point of the band’s logo. Bold forms with a red, black and white colour scheme of the logo, represent the band’s passion and dominance.
The band’s name AC/DC is an abbreviation for alternative current/direct current electricity, and their logo reflects this. The band’s raw energy is embodied by the lightning bolt and its bold, angular typography.
- Guns N’ Roses
The band’s name, which combines Tracii Guns and Axl Rose’s last names, is reflected in the logo of the band. The logo has an edgy and contemplative tone thanks to the dark and romantic motif of the guns and roses.
- Led Zeppelin
Four illustrations, one for each of the four band members, inspired by ancient symbols and mythology, are placed beneath the typography by Led Zeppelin. For instance, the emblem used by Robert Plant on the far right depicts the feather of Ma’at, the Ancient Egyptian Goddess of justice.
This iconic logo was first used on Queen’s debut album in 1971, and it quickly became synonymous with the band’s image. The lead singer, Freddie Mercury who attended art school, created the logo. Each of the four animals in the emblem relates to a band member’s horoscope. There are two lions for drummer Roger Taylor and bassist John Deacon, who are Leos; a crab for guitarist Brian May, a Cancer; and two fairies for Freddie, who was a Virgo. In between the two lions, there is a ‘Q,’ possibly denoting the band, which has a crown inside it, and behind the four animals is a phoenix. The symbolism of the phoenix is unclear but the design is said to resemble the Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom.
- The Doors
The logo for the American rock band has a bold geometric typeface and mirror-image double-Os. The logo screams 1960s! The O’s are divided in half and resemble pills, while the small but crucial ‘THE’ is written in a psychedelic typeface of the 60s with a backwards slant. Their music is characterized by psychedelic rock..get it?