BandLogo
JukeBox is a blog for lovers of design and music in equal measure. All posts are written by experts who've been there and got the (band) t-shirt.

A2 — Average White Band

A2 — Average White Band

Alan Gorrie from the Average White Band takes time out from touring to tell BLJB the story behind the cheeky, enduring logo he designed on a napkin way back in 1974.

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The idea for the logo was to simply make a metal badge, de rigueur for all early-70s bands. We had used John Pasche’s ‘golliwog-in-negative’ design for the badges from the prior ‘Show Your Hand’ album, and I wanted something new for this next project.

Blue-eyed soul:  John Pasche , best known for creating the Rolling Stones’ lips and tongue logo, designed the cover for AWB’s first album ‘Show Your Hand’ (1973).

Blue-eyed soul: John Pasche, best known for creating the Rolling Stones’ lips and tongue logo, designed the cover for AWB’s first album ‘Show Your Hand’ (1973).

The first line drawing I did was literally on a napkin — a piece I wish I had in my possession — and somehow it found its way to Atlantic Records’ hierarchy, who, at first (though they loved the concept) felt it too racy for US mega-stores like JC Penney, Sam Goody etc. to be on a cover in 1974. However, braver heads prevailed, and [artist and sculptor] Tim Bruckner was hired to draw up my graphic professionally, ready for print, and they went ahead with it for the eponymous Average White Band album.

Bare bones: The eponymous second album was the first of many to feature variants of the Gorrie-conceived logotype. It was drawn up by multi-talented Tim Bruckner, who also created sleeves for Ringo Starr and Ray Charles. Note the long-form version of the logo used as a title here.

Bare bones: The eponymous second album was the first of many to feature variants of the Gorrie-conceived logotype. It was drawn up by multi-talented Tim Bruckner, who also created sleeves for Ringo Starr and Ray Charles. Note the long-form version of the logo used as a title here.

The rest is history on that score, and it is still very much in demand today on souvenirs and all AWB publicity material. Suffice to say, other than as a performing member of the group and the benefits commensurate with that, I’ve never received a penny as the originator of the idea and the line drawing that started the ball rolling.

Icing, icing, baby: ‘Cut the Cake’, AWB’s third album, was released in 1975 and featured a confectionery version of the logo on the cover.

Icing, icing, baby: ‘Cut the Cake’, AWB’s third album, was released in 1975 and featured a confectionery version of the logo on the cover.

No regrets, though — a logo is worth a thousand bits of blurb in the life and success of a band or performing artist. It’s synonymous with the appeal of AWB!

The real thing: The 1979 ‘The Best of Average White Band’ took a literal approach to the logo. Sleeve design by Laurence Hoadley. Photo by Duffy.

The real thing: The 1979 ‘The Best of Average White Band’ took a literal approach to the logo. Sleeve design by Laurence Hoadley. Photo by Duffy.

Thanks for your interest. That's reward enough, as a designer and art addict such as myself to this day.

Average White Band play the Royal Albert Hall on 1 July. Their latest album, ‘Inside Out’, is available now and features four new songs, the band’s first studio recordings in 15 years.

Z1 — Zapp

Z1 — Zapp