Paste Magazine: The 50 Best Band Logos of All Time

May 11, 2012


Paste Magazine has named the 50 best band logos of all time.

Among them are the Grateful Dead, Metallica, Run DMC and Weezer.

To see the full report and check out all the logos that made the cut, click here.

Brian Erni

Interestingly, as I scrolled through, the first logo I looked for to see if it made the list was Nine Inch Nails. Am I a big fan of their music? Not really, but I remember drawing that logo over and over on my notebooks in 6th grade. That mark seemed like it was everywhere you looked during that 1995-’96 range: Drawn in white-out on backpacks, branded on lockers, scribbled on bathroom walls. Along with the cover for Green Day’s Dookie, the NIN primary mark was probably one of the most resounding pieces of musical imagery from my adolescence.

Now, as music has evolved, album art has essentially gone by the wayside. Sure, we still get it in small form on iTunes, but remember how you used to walk through a record store and your eye would draw you to a certain album? Or be pulled to buy a certain magazine on the news stand?  We were reminded this week that eye-popping or controversial covers can still get our attention, and I’m sure a buzz worthy album cover could make us stand up and take notice, too. But frankly, I think the potential for those instances are now few and far between.

That said,  music promoters have recently played on the symbol of nostalgia. The Beach Boys new album, That’s Why God Made the Radio, was shown for the first time on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon as a vinyl record cover. Rita Wilson’s first musical collection was flashed in similar fashion on Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live. So maybe we are in for a resurgence of album art? Even though my gut says that’s unlikely, we could see similar themes. Even though consumers continue to move further and further away from physical and into digital, I think there’s something comforting about analog mediums. If designers and promoters could find a way to tug at consumer heart strings and  harness design in a similar way, they could stand to carve out an interesting niche in the market.

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