From lightning bolts to big red lips, it's time to open the doors of perception, spread your wings and take a not-so-long, strange trip through a who's who of rock royalty images. These are the greatest band logos of all time. Your mission: Decide which one is the greatest of all time.

Before you make your choice, here’s a look behind each of the ten logos that made the list of nominees.

AC/DC
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AC/DC: The AC/DC logo was created by Bob Defrin and Gerard Huerta. The gothic lettering was inspired by a font found in Gutenberg’s Bible — the first book to be mass-produced thanks to the printing press.  Huerta wanted to create a logo to match the biblical imagery of AC/DC’s song “Let There Be Rock.” The lightning bolt became the finishing touch on a now classic logo.


Aerosmith
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AEROSMITH: Guitarist Raymond Tabano is part of Aerosmith history but it's not for his guitar playing. In fact, Tabano was only a member of Aerosmith for a short period of time. His time was spent wisely, however, as he created the now iconic winged-logo. The artwork designed by Tabano, who was replaced by Brad Whitford in 1971, has become one of the most widely recognized images in rock. The winged-A design was first seen on the 1974 album ‘Get Your Wings’ and has continued to represent the group ever since.


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THE DOORS: Unlike some other iconic logo designs, The Doors logo history is somewhat of a mystery. Some have said it was designed by the art department at Elektra Records in New York, which was headed by Bill Harvey. The logo appeared on the band's 1967 debut album and Harvey was there during the final design of the cover. The question remains, however, as to who was the one who actually designed the logo. Unfortunately, Bill Harvey died in the early 90s so we may never know the real story.


Grateful Dead
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GRATEFUL DEAD (STEAL YOUR FACE LOGO): This image was the work of two artists, Owsley Stanley and Bob Thomas, back in 1969. Owsley was inspired by a freeway sign he drove by one day. It had a round shape with a bold white line divided into an orange half and a blue half. Stanley then decided to create a similar logo only with blue and red design and a lightning bolt. He shared his idea with Thomas, who then drew up plans for the design. The original design was without the skull face, however. That was added on a few days later to symbolize the “Grateful Dead.” And did it ever.


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KISS: It turns out former Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley's hands weren't just responsible for churning out classic riffs on the electric guitar. He was also a pretty damn good artist. Frehley first drew up the band’s logo on a poster outside of a club the band was scheduled to play in their early days. Frehley’s plan was to make the “SS” look like lightning bolts, and to most eyes, that’s exactly how it came out.


Led Zeppelin
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LED ZEPPELIN: The typeface for Led Zeppelin‘s famous logo was designed by Storm Thorgerson and Aubrey Powell of the English art design group called Hipgnosis. It was to be used as part of the cover art for the 1973 album ‘Houses of the Holy.’ As for the Swan Song logo, that was inspired by a nineteenth century painting called ‘Evening (Fall of Day)’ by American artist William Rimmer.


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QUEEN: As if being an amazing singer and songwriter wasn't enough, the late Queen front man Freddie Mercury was also the one who created Queen’s regal logo. Mercury designed the logo to communicate a sense of British royalty to those who viewed it. Each band member is represented by their zodiac sign symbols, which surround the letter “Q.” To steal a Freddie line - Darling, this logo is fabulous!


The Rolling Stones
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THE ROLLING STONES: To call it just a logo isn't doing it justice. The Rolling Stones' ‘Tongue and Lip Design’ is a statement, a symbol of everything that Rock 'n' Roll represents. It's freedom of expression. The logo was created in 1970 by renowned British graphic designer John Pasche. The red mouth was originally created as a tribute to Kali, the Hindu goddess of everlasting energy. It was also created to resemble a certain member of the band who had a particularly large set of lips. Here's a clue, his initials are MJ.


Van Halen
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VAN HALEN: The originally-proposed logo for Van Halen's 1978 debut album displayed the band's name in a jagged, rough-looking typeface to appeal to the music audience more interested in punk rock at the time. After enduring an endless barrage of criticism from the Van Halen band members, Warner Brothers records gave in and agreed to change it. Designer Dave Bhang drew up a new cover and created the now-iconic winged ‘Van Halen’ logo that represented the band from 1978-1984 while David Lee Roth was the front man. During the Sammy Hagar years (1986-1995), the wings were wrapped around the letters "VH" in a circular design to mark the change in the band's lineup. When Roth returned to the band in 2007, however, so did the original and classic winged logo.


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THE WHO: British artist Brian Pike designed the font featured on the Who‘s famous logo. It was initially for a poster advertising a Who gig at London’s Marquee. For obvious reasons the logo stuck for the next 50 years of the band's existence and remains to this day. The arrow on the "O" was meant to represent masculinity and the combination of the two "H"’s were meant to symbolize unity.



Now that you've reviewed the nominees, it's time to vote for which classic logo is the greatest of all time.

 

 


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