Rock Brand

Did you know that rock bands are a brand unto themselves? Were you aware that probably every band has a logo? Instantly your mind thinks “Rolling Stones tongue”, right? I love rock band logos. They are perhaps most recognizable and appreciated in the vinyl album format. Vinyl records are the greatest. Back in the 70’s, a band, like Steve Miller for example, would cement their brand in place with each record release. Once established, you would start to see their logo on each album cover. Then came T-shirts, stickers, patches, back stage passes and more. Most of them are what you would consider “a type treatment” of their name. A unique font manipulation or custom illustration. They most likely originated from a drawing from an artist, then the logo was cleaned up and transferred over for the album cover. Even rock bands have to have a logo.

One of my all-time favorite band logos is Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band. On all of his records from the seventies, he has a consistent branding of his name. It was a thick, chunky metallic font, slanted, with a silver gradient. It recalled classic cars cruising down Woodward. It represented Detroit working class muscle. It was Bob Seger.

Some bands have mastered the marketing and branding machine. I mentioned the Rolling Stones earlier, because they are probably the best example of this. I believe the “tongue logo” first appeared in 1971, with Sticky Fingers. It has been the official identifier of the band since. The Swoosh symbol of rock and roll royalty. Marketing machine is an understatement.

Some bands brand themselves with other artistic elements, like color. Think White Stripes. What imagery comes to mind? I know what I think of: red and white. That band owns these two colors! Can you imagine having to wear that color combination everyday of your life…at every photo shoot, press release and late night television appearance? Does that make them the Target Corporation of rock and roll? Hmmmm…..

Google The White Stripes. Look at the images. Your screen will be a bombardment of white and red. And psychedelic peppermint. What fun.


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