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.

Introducing BandLogoJukeBox

Introducing BandLogoJukeBox

You're probably wondering just what this is all about, right? Well, let us explain …

This blog is brought to you by design writer Jim K Davies and creative director Jamie Ellul. Band logos combine two of our great loves — music and graphic design. We're also partial to odd facts and quirky stories, so that makes four.  

Bands and branding may seem like unlikely bedfellows … yet it’s often the most eccentric, anarchic types who end up with the most compelling or ingenious visual marques to signify their attitude and style of music. 

It's also interesting to note how many graphic designers first became interested in logos and letterforms by doodling the names of their favourite bands on their school exercise books. 

Affirmative action: Roger Dean’s Yes logo takes ‘bubble writing’ to a new level. 

Affirmative action: Roger Dean’s Yes logo takes ‘bubble writing’ to a new level. 

Some of these efforts were reverential copies, others were ‘improvements’ or embellished versions of the original. Either way, this shows how getting into music at an early age can be a conduit to a career in design — you may not be able to master a Hendrix riff, but you can certainly visualise and sketch out what it might look like.  

That’s the ticket: designed by George Snow in 1977, 999’s rough-and-ready logo was carefully copied on to many a punky army surplus shoulder bag in the 1970s.

That’s the ticket: designed by George Snow in 1977, 999’s rough-and-ready logo was carefully copied on to many a punky army surplus shoulder bag in the 1970s.

So why the JukeBox bit? Because we’re unashamedly picking some our favourites, just like choosing songs on an old-school jukebox. Also, BandLogoJukeBox will run alphabetically from from A1 to Z1, and then start again from A2 to Z2, and so on. Whether we run out of Z’s will remain to be seen. We’ll be adding new posts weekly, gradually building a formidable collection.

We’ll consider band logos from any genre of music, without prejudice, so long as the story behind them is interesting or illuminating. This could even be a logo so bad or ugly that it’s worth a critique. But hopefully there won’t be too many of those. The emphasis will probably be on UK bands, as this is where we’re based. But that’s OK, because UK bands are far and away the best anyway. 

Ace: a perennial favourite for the more accomplished exercise book doodler, the AC/DC logo was created by Californian designer Gerard Huerta.

Ace: a perennial favourite for the more accomplished exercise book doodler, the AC/DC logo was created by Californian designer Gerard Huerta.

We’ll always try to interview the relevant logo designers if we can get hold of them. Otherwise we’ll examine and deconstruct band logos in detail, highlighting their strengths, nuances and peculiarities.

We’ll be guided in our endeavours by a band of design and music aficionados — let’s call them the editorial board. This includes Rob O’Connor of Stylorouge, who’s been designing for the UK music industry for over 30 years; graphics guru Malcolm Garrett, designer of B1 Buzzcocks, and much more besides; Norman Hathaway, our US correspondent, who has worked on design projects with Paul McCartney and Peter Gabriel, among others.

As well as the main A–Z component of the site, we’ll feature essays and ‘think pieces’ on all aspects of band logo design from guest writers, bringing more texture and depth to the party.

Let’s get ready to kern! 

A1 — ABBA

A1 — ABBA