Ongoing History Daily: The rise of band logos

If you’re a musician, you’re also a brand, whether you like it or not. And for a brand to stick out, you need all kinds of visual imagery and that includes having a logo.

The Beatles might have been the first notable band to have a logo with the drop-down “T,” which was seen on Ringo’s drumkit. Interesting fact, though: That logo design never appeared on any Beatles album and wasn’t even formally registered until the 1990s.

So who was the first band to have an honest-to-god-use-it-everywhere logo? It might have been The Doors with those interesting open block letters.

Or it might have been the guitar-shaped logo of The Monkees, which was designed in part for their TV show.

We might also want to look at a 60s psych band called Love.

But the band that really put logos on the map was Chicago, who put a stylized version of their name everywhere. Now everyone does it.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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