The history of rock band logos, from the 1960s to the present day

band logos composite image
(Image credit: The Beatles/Black Sabbath/Iron Maiden/Cradle of Filth/My Chemical Romance)

Many band logos are hugely famous – everyone recognises The Rolling Stones' tongue and Nirvana's smiley face. They're on T-shirts, merch, and if you see them on a news story, you'll know which band the story is about before you even read the headline. 

Band logos have evolved over time, and differ greatly from genre to genre. Generally speaking, the heavier a band's sound, and the darker their image, the more indecipherable their logo will be – and there will probably be a lot of black and white. If you've ever seen a poster for a metal festival, you'll know what I mean. 

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Adam England

Adam is a freelance journalist covering culture and lifestyle, with over five years’ of experience and a Master’s degree in Magazine Journalism from Cardiff University. He’s previously written for publications including The Guardian, The Independent, Vice and Dazed, and was Senior Editor at from 2022 to 2023. When he’s not writing, he’s probably drinking coffee, listening to live music, or tinkering with his Apple devices.