There aren’t an awful lot of bands out there who have their own logo. To be fair, though, most bands aren’t The Rolling Stones. The Stones have been around for more than fifty years, continually making and performing music that holds up surprisingly well no matter when it was recorded. A huge reason for the band’s success has been how well the band markets itself. While the Rolling Stones logo is only a very small part of the band’s success, it is interesting to see what the logo says about the band. A deep look at this iconic logo, then, is certainly in order.
The Rolling Stones Logo Design Elements
The lips and tongue of the Rolling Stones logo are about as iconic as anything in the music industry. It’s not a logo that you’re going to see anywhere, for one – and it’s one that is incredibly focused on the band. Those lips and tongue evoke a style that’s unlike any other, one that’s tied as deeply to a spirit of youth and rebellion as it is to the famous mouth of Mick Jagger. It stands out no matter where it’s located, which helps to move a great deal of merchandise.
The color definitely plays a role in the usefulness of the logo. The deep red color plays a number of different roles, suggesting power, virility, and youth. It’s a color that you wouldn’t necessarily expect to see on a logo for a band, but it works all the better for that fact. Most surprisingly, there’s not a font involved – if you see the Rollin Stones logo, you’re meant to understand that you’re looking at the Stones even without any other information.
Changes and Evolution
The Big Red Mouth, as it’s affectionately known, isn’t actually Jagger’s mouth. The shape was designed by British graphic designer John Pasche as something of a tribute to the goddess Kali. Kali, in this case, was meant to be seen as a source of energy and free expression – both things that played very heavily into the image of the band in the 1970s. This is a logo that’s meant to stand out and be different, and the shape has been the single most important aspect over the course of nearly fifty years.
The deep red of the logo has, perhaps importantly, never changed. It is just as important as the shape, helping to create a brand identity that can’t be copied. Taking away the vibrant red makes the logo look like just any other mouth and it honestly loses a great deal of the rock ‘n roll look by doing so.
The Rolling Stones have never used any kind of font with their logo. It’s a bold statement, one that assumes that the band is so famous that this odd logo will instantly inform everyone of exactly who’s playing. The strangest thing, of course, is that this has worked. Even if you don’t know the Stones, you know that this logo is trying to do something special.
The biggest influence on the logo is, obviously, the band. Regardless of the designer’s notes about Hindu goddesses, the mouth clearly looks like that of Mick Jagger. Beyond that, you’re looking at a design that’s very much of an era, one in which bands were more than just groups that played music. Several other bands from the general time period had iconic logos (The Grateful Dead or The Who, etc), and would continue to do so in a similar way to how the Stones did here.
The Rolling Stones logo has been copied, played with, and homaged more times than is easy to count. Oddly, though, few bands have really ever tried to do a logo in the same way as the band. It turns out that you really need to be as big as The Rolling Stones to make this kind of logo work.
- Mick Jagger’s youngest son is younger than his youngest grandchild.
- Paul McCartney and John Lennon wrote one of the Stones’ earliest hits.
- Keith Richards and Mick Jagger first met when they were five years old
- The Stones and Beatles were good friends, despite public appearances to the contrary.
- The largest rock concert ever was held by The Roling Stones in 2006.
- The camerman for the 1970 documentary Gimme Shelter was future Star Wars creator George Lucas.
The Rolling Stones’ logo is one that only works because of the band to which it is attached. The lack of font, the odd shape, and the bold color are all indicative of a band that doesn’t really need to advertise. Even so, this remains one of the greatest and longest-lasting logos in rock history.