10 Great Rock Band Logos and Album Covers! vol. I

These 10 Rock Band Logos/Cover Art have made a lasting impression on a global stage for decades. Why? Consistency, that’s why… and that is at the core of any good brand!

The below bands are not listed in any ranking order. These selected bands are memories of my youth. I intend to post more genre-specific music branding posts in the upcoming weeks. A vol. II ????


The 1976 Rock And Roll Over is one of my favorite Kiss Album covers

“By all accounts, lead guitarist Ace Frehley had a knack for art and designed it. According to one story, Frehley wrote the name over a poster for Wicked Lester — the band Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley left to form KISS — and came up with those S’s on the fly. What doesn’t get mentioned is that some of Wicked Lester’s artwork used a jagged lightning bolt in place of its own single S. What’s also unknown is Paul Stanley’s role in making the logo.” Source — Sue Apfelbaum PDF Article

2. Judas Priest

Judas Priest Second Logo – Roslav Szaybo 1978

My Favorite Judas Priest Album Cover British Steel – 1980

Interesting info!

“The first time the name Judas Priest appeared on the racks of record stores was in September 1974, when their debut album ‘Rocka Rolla’ was released. The logo, like the whole ‘bottlecap’ artwork used in the cover, was designed by John Pasche, Gull Record’s graphic designer, who had also made designs for the Rolling Stones earlier in his career. In fact, the ‘bottlecap’ artwork was first intended to be used with the Stones, but it ended up on Priest’s debut. Maybe it was the pop artistic nature of the cover that made John to design a new, better matching logo, instead of the old gothic style one the band had used before. Although this cover won some graphic design awards at the time, it somehow never matched the music on the album. The different logos used in French and German 7 inch single releases underline the fact that this particular logo never really stabilized to represent the nature of Priest’s music.” Source — KKDOWNING.net

Judas Priest debut album with logo and artwork done by by John Pasche, Gull Record’s

3. The Rolling Stones

“It won’t be wrong to say that the “red big mouth” represents the rebellious and passionate mouth of Mick Jagger, the key band member. It is originally an ovation to the Hindu goddess Kali, the goddess of everlasting energy, and glorifies the strength of free expression in rock ‘n’ roll music. The Rolling Stones logo stands out from the rest of the rock band logos due to its mirth, uniqueness, and the way it brings out the emotions while listening to the music.” Source — FamousLogos.us

I remember being freaked out by this album cover when I was young but it made me never forget it.

4. AC/DC


The AC/DC logo was a collaboration between Atlantic Records creative art director Bob Defrin and noted graphic designer Gerard Huerta. The logo was launched in June 1977; to coincide with the release of the international edition of the band’s fourth studio album, “Let There Be Rock”. .


AC/DC Back in Black

5. Guns N Roses


Guns N’ Roses – Appetite for Destruction (1987)

“The original artwork for ‘Appetite For Destruction’ was a stomach-turningly gruesome affair: an image based on the Robert Williams painting of the same title, that depicts a girl with her pants round her ankles, a robot rapist, and a metal avenging angel about to take revenge…But the band’s label, Geffen, had to whip up an alternative when several retailers refused to stock it. They settled for the famous cross and skulls design instead, with each skull representing one of the five members. In 2011, meanwhile, Axl said he had originally had another idea for the cover: a picture of the Space Shuttle Challenger exploding in 1986. Geffen, thinking it was in bad taste, knocked his proposal on the head.” Source — Ben Hewitt @ NME.com

6. Boston


Boston 1

snippet from an article I found about the creation of the album cover

“Band founder, guitarist Tom Scholz wanted the cover to be tech-like, as he was an MIT grad and product engineer at Polaroid. It was Scholz who recorded most of the tracks in his basement creating the eclectic-full Boston sound–a sound I’ve really never heard another band duplicate. He’d suggested a cover with a guitar shaped spaceship. Not exactly something you can get your mind around. And Paula Scher in her own words “thought the idea was idiotic.” Since it didn’t make sense they tried to tie it to a story…the earth had blown up and space ships were escaping into orbit. There were supposed to be many guitar–city–spaceships leaving the planet labeled, London, Paris, Rome, and Boston was supposed to be the largest escaping front and center. OK the idea is far-fetched, but it’s rock n’ roll. Eventually they took out the other city names to avoid confusion and just kept one city, Boston.” Source — Joe Bond @ bond blog

7. Van Halen

Van Halen I

“Eddie Van Halen recalled that after Dave Bhang showed the band this logo the quartet “made [Warner Bros.] put it on the album so that it would be clear that we had nothing to do with the punk movement. It was our way of saying ‘Hey we’re just a f—ing rock and roll band, don’t try and slot us with the Sex Pistols thing just because it’s becoming popular.”

Van Halen Rejected Their First Album Cover: “They Tried to Make Us Look Like the Clash”

Van Halen Rejected Cover

8. Molly Hatchet

The band, founded by Dave Hlubek and Steve Holland, took its name from a prostitute who allegedly mutilated and decapitated her clients. Most of Molly Hatchet album covers feature heroic fantasy inspired art, some of which were painted by artists Frank Frazetta, Boris Vallejo and Paul R. Gregory. – Source — Wikipedia

Molly Hatchet used Frazetta’s 1973 painting “The Death Dealer” for their eponymous debut.

9. DIO


“The logo, DIO, was written in an ornate gothic font, and it spelled DEVIL when flipped. But he wasn’t going for shock value. In Italian, his name means God. He was summoning both deities at once: the Lord and the Beast.”

10. Iron Maiden

The Iron Maiden logo features the band’s name in uppercase characters using an angular heavy metal typeface. The band’s bassist Steve Harris has claimed in an interview that he has actually designed the memorable logo, but the typeface looks very similar to the one used in Vic Fair’s poster design for the 1976 film The Man Who Fell to Earth.