The Rolling Stones logo has a surprisingly spiritual origin

Rolling Stones tongue and lips logo
(Image credit: Mike Kemp via Getty Images)

The Rolling Stones logo is arguably one of the most iconic band logos in musical history. Featuring on the band's albums, posters and merchandise since its creation in 1970, the legendary logo is a standout piece of bold iconography that has truly stood the test of time – but its origins have been subject to conflicting mythologies.

In a recent interview, Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger shared the inspiration behind the logo, confirming that without a little bit of divine intervention, we wouldn't have gotten the iconic symbol that we know and love today. (For more legendary design, check out our collection of the best logos of all time). 

The Rolling Stones

(Image credit: David Wolff - Patrick via Getty Images)

The famous tongue and lips logo was created by British artist John Pasche, and is said to have taken inspiration from the Hindu Goddess, Kali. Yet Pasche has previously stated in an interview with The New York Times that he wanted to avoid an overtly Indian-inspired design, as he believed it was a phase that would soon grow old. Instead, he says that his design was an amalgamation of the band's 'anti-authoritarian' attitude and underlying sexual panache – very 1970 indeed. 

Speaking to The Times of India, Jagger reflected that the symbolism of Kali was actually the catalyst of inspiration that shaped his vision for the logo's design. "My brother was an early traveller to India, he says. "He would give me some books to read. I was looking for an image that would be an eye-grabbing thing, and I saw this image of a disembodied tongue of Kali. I thought it would be an inspiration," he adds. 

Statue of the Goddess Kali in Kadaloor, Tamil Nadu, India.

Statue of the Goddess Kali in Kadaloor, India. (Image credit: NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The Goddess of time, change, creation, power, destruction and death, Kali's origins are already pretty rock 'n' roll without her being the inspiration behind one of the most recognisable band logos of all time. It's interesting to see how cultures can interconnect to inspire design and the Rolling Stones' logo will remain one of the best examples of music, art, and spirituality harmonising to create something timeless and iconic.

For more about the legendary logo, check out the recent Rolling Stones sponsorship for FC Barcelona, or take a look at the Beatles music video that wouldn't have been possible without a little AI augmentation. 

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Natalie Fear
Staff Writer

Natalie is Creative Bloq's staff writer. With an eye for trending topics and a passion for internet culture, she brings you the latest in art and design news. A recent English Literature graduate, Natalie enjoys covering the lighter side of the news and brings a fresh and fun take to her articles. Outside of work (if she’s not glued to her phone), she loves all things music and enjoys singing sweet folky tunes.