A Few Logo’s To Add To Gigwise’s List
A company I’d love to work for tweeted a link that has eaten my morning, thankfully I worked over the weekend so I have a few moments to enable my own logo addiction. Besides, I am someone that would watch a show titled “Behind The Logo” for hours.
Gigwise published a list of the 50 best band logos, and while their list is interesting and thorough, a few bands shot to mind that I couldn’t believe they either missed or omitted. The list is a little obscure ska/punk/metal heavy and clearly left out a few obvious ones.
One sidebar: I find it pretty funny that underground or counter-culture bands place such a heavy emphasis on the logo or “brand”. I also might disagree with Gigwise over font focused logos. I think typography can say a lot without having to rely too heavily on pictures, if anything sometimes it can say more.
With that said, we’ll start with the most obvious omission:
The logo for the most famous rock band of all time has perhaps the simplest origin story. It was designed in 1963 by Ivor Arbiter — merely the man who sold Ringo Starr his drums — and applied on Ringo’s bass drumhead by London sign painter Eddie Stokes. You could replace the band’s name and you would still recognize this font as belonging to four lads from Liverpool. Now, one could argue that the brand is only recognizable because of the band, but there is something quietly elegant about the extended T, almost like the band itself is emerging from a heard of wannabes. The centered “the”, the languid B, the way the word “the beat” kind of stands out, just like the music, there’s something soothing, familiar and charismatic about these two words in this particular font. Like Sunday’s Wapo article on Facebook’s design, or the Gap logo, its no longer a logo, its just a part of life.
Ironic that the band’s first commercial mega-hit was a song titled “Give It Away”, a reference to an experience lead singer Anthony Kiedis had with an ex girlfriend regarding altruistic behavior and the value of selflessness. All that aside, I can’t believe Gigwise would omit the Chili Peppers and will lean on one of my favorite sites, Logo Factory Blog, for a little back history.
Of course, fan subculture involves cultural myths including Angel’s nether regions and human orifices, but I sort of believe Kiedis’ account. I’ve seen this as a tattoo one many times, the logo still adorns their drum set and I’d argue, the band technically has two logos: one being the asterisk, the other being their name in alternating white and red letters. Oh yeah, Logo Factory has a pretty neat band logo quiz here btw.
I’m guessing Gigwise would find this suggestion abhorrent, but speaking objectively, you can’t ignore the purchase power of Phish. They’ve taken over where the Dead left off and demand a cult following that’s indisputable. There’s something to be said about a band that inspires such loyalty that pacifist hacky-sackers will go to blows over your primacy as a band. Click here for some great stoner conspiracy theories on hidden letters, pictures or pipes and to read about the injunction they’ve been given to control bootlegging and logo usage. “Phans”, “phriends”, “phamily:, “phiends”, “Phishheads”, when you create a language, you’ve surpassed a logo.