The first band to analyze, Van Halen, is a rock band from California. However, the founding members, Eddie and Alex Van Halen, are of Dutch origin. Known for their wild solos and showman side, they would release many songs before Eddie’s death in 2020. Their logo is very recognizable, even Weezer would take inspiration from them to create their own logo. However, when the group was founded, Van Halen’s first logo was more of a signature logo. The full name of the band was used, and the letters V and A were embellished with serifs resembling musical notes.
As early as 1978, the logo we know today was created. We could almost call it a monogram logo since only the letters V and H were used. Wings were added to the ends (much like Aerosmith!) and the name of the band was simply added. Despite a redesign in 1986 where the band’s name was removed from the logo, Van Halen’s brand image remained relatively stable throughout their career.
Guns N’ Roses
Now let’s move to another band that has left a mark: Guns N’ Roses. Also founded in California, singer Axl Rose and guitarist Slash would make memories with their hits like Welcome to the Jungle or Sweet Child O’ Mine. So, what about their logo now? Guns N’ Roses would have a few different logos during their time, but several symbols remain associated with the group including revolvers, skulls and roses. The band’s first logo, which can be seen on the album Appetite for Destruction, would feature the band members with skulls and a cross in the background. Eventually, the name of the band and album were added.
In 1987, Guns N’ Roses had a slightly more official logo. This logo type, badge or coat of arms, had the name of the group and two symbols: roses and revolvers. Simpler, more representative and flexible, it has been the group’s logo since then.
We couldn’t talk about the music of the 80s without mentioning Metallica. This is another band that was created in California (what else?) that has become one of the biggest heavy metal bands. Founded by James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich, Metallica chose a wordmark logo as its emblem. So, just because you choose to create a wordmark logo doesn’t mean it’s boring. According to rumors, singer James Hetfield had the idea for the Metallica logo.
For a logo to be memorable, it must be simple, but representative. This is exactly the case with the Metallica logo. It is composed of only the name of the group in a thick sans serif font. However, serifs were added at the ends of the logo that looked like lightning. Simple, but highly effective! The whole thing is symmetrical. There would be some redesigns over the years, but nothing major.
Unlike the other bands mentioned above, Bon Jovi was founded in New Jersey and stands out by opting for a slightly more glam rock side. Bon Jovi was a great success, selling millions of records and touring extensively, which increased the band’s popularity significantly. The band would use different logos during their career. Bon Jovi played mostly with two variations.
First, the group opted for a signature logo, i.e., a logo composed only of the name of the group. Black was the most used color and the chosen font contained serifs. The other version contained a symbol of a pierced heart as the second O, making it a combined logo. This version would be mainly used in the 80s. The signature logo would only be used thereafter during their career. Some minor redesigns would also take place to adapt the logo to different decades.
For this last band, let’s move away a little from rock and heavy metal for something a little lighter: WHAM! They were a British band formed by George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley in the 80s. They enjoyed great success with their pop songs. Even today, Last Christmas remains one of the most popular Christmas songs. What about their logo?
The logo of WHAM! is quite simple. It is a signature logo, a logo composed of only the name of the group. However, over the years and depending on the medium, the font or colors would change. Sometimes, only the outline of the letters was colored. Often, it was pastel colors that were used. Also, the logo of WHAM! most of the time used a relatively minimalist sans-serif font. The band finally broke up in 1986 after a 5-year career. George Michael then chose a solo career.
In conclusion, what was your favorite band of the 80s? Which logo of that time impressed you the most? Which one was the most successful? If you have not yet discovered the other articles in this series, we invite you to discover the best logos of the bands of the 60s and 70s!
This content was originally published here.