There’s been much fanfare over the Rolling Stones’ 50th anniversary, despite the fact that they have yet to announce a tour or album (or anything really) in honor of their half-century together. The band has, however, unveiled a new take on its classic tongue logo to celebrate the golden anniversary, designed by artist Shepard Fairey. The Stones released the new logo on their website earlier this week, and it can be viewed here as well.
The Stones have been using their tongue and lips logo since 1971, when it first appeared on the inside sleeve of their Sticky Fingers album. The original logo was designed by John Pasche, a student the Royal College of Art in London, who was first commissioned for it in 1969. As the story goes, Jagger was less than pleased with his label’s design suggestions. “The design concept for the tongue was to represent the band’s anti-authoritarian attitude, Mick’s mouth and the obvious sexual connotations,” Pasche later said of the logo. “I designed it in such a way that it was easily reproduced and in a style I thought could stand the test of time.”
Pasche’s logo has not only stood the test of time, but it’s become one of the most iconic and ubiquitous logos in the world. He set the standard for band logos, so it’s fitting that Fairey, who was commissioned by the band, didn’t change too much in his new version. The main change is the addition of typography around the tongue logo.
Fairey is perhaps most well-known as the artist behind the “Hope” posters used prevalently in President Obama’s 2008 campaign, but his ties to the rock world are strong as of late. Fairey recently reunited with Neil Young, creating paintings to represent each songs on Young’s new album, Americana. Last year, Fairey – who honored Young in his May Day series in 2010 – created artwork for Young’s Bridge School Benefit, commemorating the concert series’ 25th anniversary.
– Jillian Mapes, CBS Local