EXPERIENCE ROCK HISTORY!
A perfect example of the fun and creative aspects of design during the height of the Pop-Culture explosion is in the band names of the era.
However, the ’70s seemed to become extremely lax in the logo department. Great band names had unimpressive logos.
So here’s a mix of popular impossible-to-ignore iconic logos, but not necessarily the “best” – and some that are.
In random chronological order; here ’tis:
The 1970 decade starts off with SANTANA, a powerhouse Latin-flavored band that were the hit of Woodstock and with fans forever after. Named after founder Carlos Santana, their logo and name were instantly associated with driving primal beats and soaring guitar.
This excellent font design took the high road and served as an introduction to a professional, highly creative group of musicians.
For fun, a rare psychedelic version is represented.
Formed in Britain in 1969, Progressive Jazz Rock band iF won awards for their 1970 logo – and these guys weren’t even Heavy Metal, but they got there first.
Taking the ’60’s no name band name a bit further with a conjunction/noun, iF delivered a great name and a great logo and apparently some great music!
Really, 00individual needs to comment on this one?
No need to spell out the band name as this is possibly the most recognized symbol world-wide – and The Stones own it.
Semi-risque at first, and a slap to the Establishment, this Warhol-inspired brand picked up steam after it debuted in 1971 with the Sticky Fingers album.
If there is one symbol to represent Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll, this is it.
And who better than The Stones to rep SDRR?
Nice. 00individual always admired the simplicity of the bold entangled three letter word.
The entanglement was the essence of real life War, and in this case, the entanglement involved an excellent group of Soul Rockers.
When you get a logo so perfect you stick with it and they did from their debut in 1971 throughout their next eight albums. Solid letter design – bold statement represented – an iconic brand.
“WAR! What is it good for?” In this case, Excellent Groove-Laden Music and a righteous logo!
It’s the answer everyone wants to hear.
Although Roger Dean, master airbrush and otherworldly artist contributed to many bands’ cover art and logos, none were as prominent to Rockers than the original late 1972 “Close To The Edge”
snakey balloon YES. Iconic still today.
A perfect name for a Glam Rock Band; KISS formed early 1973.
Glam Rock meets semi-theatrical Hard Rock with a Hallowe’en disguise to promote fun and mystery – who wouldn’t like that? 00individual for one.
While 00individual had sincere appreciation for any band’s success, and got a kick out of the KISS costumes and make-up, it was the music itself that was unimpressive. But 00individual is definitely in the minority, so let’s focus on their highly-recognizable logo.
Again, sad to say, but their logo is unimpressive, especially for their band name, think of the possibilities – a missed opportunity.
However, the fans love it and the logo continues strong with all of the ancillary merchandise that is still sold today.
Other than the introduction of the Schutzstaffel double SS created by the successful Nazi propaganda art department – with a nod to a #11 stylized “Armanen” sig rune – the only positive is the bold block stance – something KISS needed to help them stay atop those monster-stilt boots.
AC-DC forms late 1973: Raw Rock Returns!
Great high-voltage name for a band that lives up to their name.
A stylized single Schutzstaffel makes a striking lightning bolt mark and is super integral to the name and the design. The band Rocks Hard, the solid spiked font and the logo are perfectly effective and tight. Aces all around!
This elegantly-structured logo was designed by H.R. Giger (Alien) exclusively for the original painted cover of Emerson Lake and Palmer’s 1973 album, “Brain Salad Surgery”.
H.R. Giger introduced a level of art to inspire and influence 00individual and artists around the world and across mediums and media in general and design especially.
An Art World God; Giger gave ELP austerity with substance – a dynamic logo for a dynamic trio.
Coming a little late to their own party, it wouldn’t be ’til 1976 for Electric Light Orchestra to commit to the opulence of the “Juke Box Extravaganza Electric Light Show” of a logo!
This is easily the most refined of nearly all logos by adding near photo-realism to the circular brand.
The end of two insanely historic decades was grinding down, so why not go full tilt – and ELO did.
It also took those Titans of Rock, Led Zeppelin until 1976 to get it together with an acceptable logo.
The first two albums’ block fonts along with LZ III’s baloony font thrilled no one.
With a name like Led Zeppelin, some dynamic font imagery should have been in place early on. Very lax and non-creative on their part; 00individual was disappointed.
Back then sometimes the hip would get jaded, like The Beatles with the White Album – a great non-statement and waste of what could have been historic space. And no matter how much anyone analyzes blank art, unless perceptively distinguished, why hang a picture? Why not just leave a wall blank.
00individual applauds the added creativity of the sigils but they seem to compete with the trippy, yet uninspired font style.
Yep, not feelin’ it.
Here we are, 1977, and The Sex Pistols win the Trifecta; great band name, no, a really great band name with attitude already loaded, great logo with ransom-note chic and black and white film noir impact, and great visceral music to match them both. A righteous winner all around.
And with the Sex Pistols’ Trifecta’s intensity; the excess exceeded the balance.
Formed in 1969, it took seven studio album releases and nearly a decade for the band that grabbed this world-wide known three letter acronym; UFO, to get an appropriate logo in 1978.
The disruptive wave cutting through the UFO “signal” both signifies the cosmic Heavy Metal force and creates a very cool and mysterious logo.
Their epic “Love To Love” is a stone Rockin’ Blues Ballad and one of individual’s favorites. Dig it!
Appearing only on their debut album, The Clash logo is notable on several fronts.
While this splattered, etched, dry-brushed or worn lettering has been used since in variations ad infinitum, this was from 1977, way before loosely-scripted dry-brushed corporate logos became the absolute rage in the ’80s and ’90s.
This logo also echoes the “Exotica” genre album cover lettering of the ’50s and ’60s which promoted a primal force.
The rebel graffiti urgency of the logo was in true Rock ‘n’ Roll spirit; memorable and in your face – just like their attitude and music – The Clash!
Recorded and released in 1980 off of the Sandinista! album, The Clash’s most excellent, “Charlie Don’t Surf” started the next decade off with a brilliant culmination of all that was good of the entire ’60s and ’70s; satiric lyrics, retro-surf guitar, great vocals, psychedelic tinges, rockin’ rhythm and beats, incredibly addictive hooks – all existing in Album Track Gem rarefied air.
Mick Jones went on to a whole new album and band with equally addictive tracks:
This is Big Audio Dynamite !
“Medicine Show” (Leone, Eastwood, Wallach, Morricone)
“E=mc2” (Roeg – film references, especially Performance)
00individual acknowledges all of the creative people involved who actually made these logos happen in all of the art department, marketing and art direction positions in all of the record companies back when they could.