Shepard Fairey updates Stones logo for 50th

Shepard Fairey has created a logo for the Rolling Stones’ 50th anniversary based on John Pasche’s 1971 original: but what’s going on with that type?

Shepard Fairey has created a logo for the Rolling Stones’ 50th anniversary based on John Pasche’s 1971 original: but what’s going on with that type?

Pasche created the original lips logo while still a student at the RCA, for which he was paid the princely sum of £50. In 2008 Pasche sold the original artwork for the logo at auction to the V&A for $92,500. (for more, see our story here).

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


Fairey had already worked with Jagger and Dave Stewart on the pair’s Superheavy project. “When Mick Jagger reached out to me about designing a logo to mark the Rolling Stones’ 50th anniversary I was quite overwhelmed,” Fairey says in a statement on his website. “One of the first things I asked Mick was ‘don’t you think the tongue HAS to be included?’. He responded ‘yeah I guess it ought to be’. Case closed. I was very humbled and honored to be asked to work on the 50th logo so my objective was to service and showcase the Stones’ legacy rather than try to make my contribution dominant.

“I worked on this project as a fan knowing that the Stones’ tongue was the focus and the starting point. With that in mind I set out to integrate the 50 in a creative and memorable way,” Fairey continues. “I think the solution speaks for itself in celebrating the Stones’ trademark icon and historical anniversary.”

Thoughts? It’s certainly respectful of the tongue but, typographically-speaking, it’s a bit of a car crash, with five different faces jostling for position, none of them sitting particlularly happily either with each other or on the curve on which they have been set. As a result, the power of the original logo, which remains one of the great pieces of visual communications, is diminished rather than enhanced.



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