15. Rolling Stones (1970)

John Pasche

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In 1970, while still a student at the RCA, John Pasche designed a logo for the Rolling Stones. He was paid £50. Almost 30 years later, the V&A bought Pasche’s original artwork at auction for $92,500. Pasche’s first meeting with the Stones’ Mick Jagger came when the band needed a poster for an upcoming tour. Jagger called up the college to ask if it could recommend a student to do the job. Pasche went to see him and did the poster. Months later, Jagger called back. The Stones were going to launch their own record label and they needed a logo, could Pasche design it?

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He met with Jagger again where the singer “talked about things he liked and things he didn’t like, nothing too specific,” explains Pasche, “and then I just had this idea.” While an obvious reference to Jagger’s features (not especially flattering, but Jagger didn’t seem to mind), Pasche says that the main reason that the thick red lips and sticking out tongue seemed so right was because it was blatantly anti-authoritarian and “they were still the bad boys of rock and roll at the time”. The style came out of Pasche’s fascination with Pop Art – its directness and simplicity, he says, “is probably why it stood the test of time”.

A slightly redrawn version of Pasche’s original logo was first used on the inner sleeve of Sticky Fingers
A slightly redrawn version of Pasche’s original logo was first used on the inner sleeve of Sticky Fingers

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WRITER

Worthing

CREATIVE DESIGNER – BRAND

Maidenhead, Berkshire