If you are just starting off in the music industry, thinking that you can make it without a memorable music logo; well, think again! Contrary to popular belief that the music should speak for itself, this scene is just like any other business.
In other words, whether it’s a record label or band symbol, DJ design, or music app icon, all brands need a logo that fans and clients can identify with.
What makes a great logo in the music industry? To answer that question, we need to check out what the most influential brands in music have done in the past. So, join us as we tour some of the best music logos in the history of the business.
Tomorrowland is one of the most famous music festivals dedicated to dance music and electronic artists. Using an unusual “Illuminati” design in the shape of a butterfly with a crown on top, the Tomorrowland logo holds a special place in the world of music festival brands.
In addition to the symmetry in the design of this cool music logo, its monochromatic color scheme enhances the unique effects of electronic dance music, inviting you to a once-in-a-lifetime event.
Good music is good music, no matter that genre. In that same vein, a good logo is a good logo, no matter if it’s a DJ logo, a band logo, or in this instance, the logo of an orchestra. Voted the best orchestra in the US, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra has a logo that is sophisticated and classy as the institution itself.
This design incorporates a simple, white music note logo in the form of the letter “C” against a timeless red and black background. Straightforward and to the point, this classical music design is a typical example of how an image doesn’t have to rely on too many elements to be easily identified with a brand.
Like iTunes, the Spotify logo had gone through some changes: from a black and white design when it first came on the scene in 2008 to the latest, neon-green version that gives a kind of energetic, striking vibe.
In between updates, this music app logo kept the three lines denoting sound waves but tilted the image slightly to the side. This, along with the new color scheme, has infuriated users, although not enough to make them stop using the service — an excellent example of how a logo doesn’t have to be universally liked to make an impact.
Also known as the “punk patch,” this French duo’s logo was meant to imitate the patches punk band emblems are stitched on and demonstrate the band’s anti-celebrity stand. Designed by Daft Punk member Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, this electronic music logo is straightforward but bold — a simple logotype with accented letters in an eye-catching, red color.
Even though Daft Punk became more recognizable for the robotic outfits they wear and their groundbreaking music style, the band’s logo serves as a reminder that sometimes a low-profile design is more effective.
One of the oldest and strongest logos on our list, the initial design for this American guitar manufacturer, was a star inside a crescent moon. Gibson, however, switched to a new logo in 1902 — one, which includes the company’s name on the peghead, inlaid in pearl, and in slightly slanting lettering.
This music logo in text format went through minor changes in the 100 years it’s been in business, showing that consistency is one of the most important features when building a brand logo.
The unforgettable logo for one of the greatest, and possibly most flamboyant, rock bands of all time, focuses on the letter Q winged by two lions and fairies. A crab also tops the letter with flames above it coming out of a giant phoenix (the animals and the fairies represent the band member’s zodiac signs).
Created by frontman Freddie Mercury, the “Queen Crest,” as this music band’s logo is also called) is made to remind fans of the UK’s royal coat of arms. Although some might argue that this logo encompasses too many elements, there is no doubt that it has endured and become as identifiable with the band as their best hits, or Brian May’s hair.
Founded in 1983, Def Jam Recordings has represented some of the biggest names in hip-hop and pop history, such as Jay-Z, Rihanna, Kanye West, Public Enemy, and many, many others. The interlocking “D” and “J” in this music label logo, created by label founder Rick Rubin, symbolize the importance of DJs in music, while at the same time giving the entire design weight and mass.
But this image represents more than a record label. It stood for the golden age of hip-hop and its bright future, so cool and admired that it was even worn by artists signed under a different label.
One of the coolest music band logos, The Monkees’ famous design impeccably represents the band and what they stood for — peace, love, and music, all the way from the guitar-shape of the logo and curvy psychedelic lettering to the hearts for tuning keys.
The logo may have been designed in 1966 by Nick LoBianco for a total of $75, and the colors have changed a bit over the years, but it’s still as recognizable and distinguishable as ever.
This music player logo has changed a lot over the years (there have been 12 versions of the image since it was first introduced), with the final version launched in 2015. This icon retains the classic note symbol but incorporates multiple cascading hues (purple, blue, and pink-salmon) to stand for the rich history of the app, making it the most colorful iTunes logo Apple has used since 2001.
Even though the company discontinued iTunes in 2019, and added a brand-new Apple Music logo to its latest media player, the iTunes image still represents the app that revolutionized the music industry.
Nirvana was never about glamour, it was grunge all the way, and there is no better representation of the band’s spirit than their logo. Using a more provocative take on the classic smiley face (the crooked mouth, X-shaped eyes, and sticking-out tongue), the design is dark, gritty, and well — grunge.
Ever since it debuted in 1991, this music group logo has been a symbol of the alternative rock culture, still going strong years after the band broke up.
Created back in 1983 by frontman James Hetfield, Metallica’s easily recognizable, spike-edged text logo has turned this heavy metal band into a brand. Like its music, Metallica’s black and white logo is loud, edgy, and tough.
Used on anything from T-shirts to tattoos, this logo has become an integral part of Metallica’s image and is as classic as the band itself.
The YouTube design is one of the most identifiable music platform logos out there. Debuting in 2005, the YouTube image has changed over time, with the biggest alternation happening in 2017.
This is when YouTube first included the universal icon, the play button in bright red coloring (a CTA button if there ever was one), and changed the color of the lettering from red to black. It also lost the “tube,” giving the logo a more updated, modern look in line with the new experimentations the company rolled out.
The Aerosmith logo just goes to show that a design that doesn’t have to include a singing logo, or some other obvious music symbol, to connect it to the world of rock and roll. This legendary logo, which first appeared on the band’s second studio album Get Your Wings, was designed by guitarist Raymond Tabano, who actually left the band before the album even came out.
The letter A — similar in style to the anarchy symbol — stands in the center of the logo, over the band’s name in psychedelic-like letters, surrounded by wings giving the entire design a feeling of motion and freedom, which is what cool music logos and rock are all about.
One of the most renowned hip-hop logos, the Wu-Tang Clan’s Batman-style “W” logo is simple, yet versatile. Taking on the shape of different letters, depending on which member uses it, this logo has been featured on numerous album covers, clothing and chains.
It was designed by DJ Allah Mathematics in 1993 and has since remained as a symbol of the groundbreaking Staten-Island collective and one of the most recognizable music logos in hip-hop history.
Perhaps there is no logo more representative of the 60s, and all that this decade stood for, than the Doors logo.
Using tiny, italicized, psychedelic lettering for “the” and bold, precise, geometric shapes for the band’s name, the design superbly sums up the spirit of the hippie movement, down to the O’s being split in the middle to resemble pills.
A clear example of how sometimes the best music logos can speak louder than words. Prince changed his stage name to an unpronounceable symbol, apparently just to mess with his record-label Warner Bros.
The so-called “love symbol” blends the symbols for male and female to create a new, gender-fluid one, while with its likeness to a cross, it creates harmony out of two conflicting ideas such as religion and sex.
Whether the design was really created as a simple bargaining chip, or it had a deeper meaning for Prince, this one (like many a music artists’ logo) flawlessly embodied the style of the eccentric and unbelievably talented musician.
One of the most impactful images not just in hip-hop, but American culture as well, the Public Enemy logo features an image of a B-boy caught in the target scope — an undeniable symbol of the US continued mistreatment of its Black youth.
The clean lines and use of simple, but effective black and white contrast, make this rap music logo, designed by frontman Chuck D in 1986, even more eye-catching.
Having a name that stands for alternating current and direct current is more than fitting for one of the most energetic bands in music, but their famed logo builds on this image even more than the name itself.
Designed in 1977, and almost unchanged since then, the AC/DC logo is prominent for the lighting bolt in the middle and the bold, gothic-style lettering which was inspired by Gutenberg’s Bible — the perfect typeface for AC/DC’s album Let There Be Rock, on which this rock music logo first appeared.
The Beatles’ famous drop-T logo isn’t the most innovative or flashy, but it’s timeless, understated, and effective. Almost 60 years after it was designed, it is still easily identifiable with one of the biggest names in rock and roll.
The logo was created by Ivor Arbiter, a music instrument retailer, who let Ringo Starr trade in his old drum kit for a new one. The deal included the pop music logo, representing both the band’s and store’s name, to be prominently presented on the drumhead. Beatles manager Epstein agreed, Arbiter sketched out the logo, and that was that!
Interestingly enough, this logo was never used on any of the Beatles album covers. Still, it has been featured on countless memorabilia and only registered as a trademark by Apple Corps in the 1990s.
No list of famous music logos would be complete without mentioning one of the most eye-catching, unforgeable, and iconic logos of all time.
Debuting on their album Sticky Fingers, which included some of the band’s greatest hits, the design was created by art student John Pasche in 1970. The provocative logo, officially known as “Tongue and Lips,” features the famous licking tongue and red lips, amplifying one of the most prominent features of Mick Jagger, i.e., his mouth.
This music band logo perfectly depicted the band’s personality and their defiance of norms — musical, social, and sexual.
The Rolling Stones may be getting old, but like their logo, they are still as controversial and relevant as they were in the past.
One thing that all the logos on the list have in common is that they have stood the test of time, never straying from the fundamental values and personality of the brand they represent. After all, like good music, a good music logo never goes out of style.
Now, it’s up to you. Take note of the best in the business and start designing your own logo. If the process seems a little daunting, don’t worry — we are here to help. Simply use our online logo maker and create a design for your music enterprise that will take your career to the next level.