Ah, nothing quite fills a slow-ass holiday Monday better than list gripery. At first, as I read this rundown of the 25 “Best Band Logos,” all I could think was “they better remember the Misfits skull. They better remember the Misfits skull.” Well, they did remember to include the Misfits skull (phew), while managing to hit most of the canonical choices when it comes to rock logos (Metallica, Van Halen, the Grateful Dead skull, the Stones lips, et cetera). But while you might pitch a kvetch about the obviousness or ordering–Phish ahead of Public Enemy’s crosshairs? The Scissor Sisters ahead of almost everyone at No. 5??–can you really fault the folks at Spinner for forgetting a few of your own faves while sifting through forty years of pop music iconography? This is the Internet, after all, where counter-lists are plentiful unto pointlessness. That’s why I cobbled together a list of five personal pop design highlights, any one of which could maybe, you know, be subbed in for H.I.M.’s “heartagram” or the backwards Korn “K.” (Just sayin’.)
1. The Dead Kennedys
The only time I ever got busted for defacing school property was when I decided to leave a Dead Kennedys’ tribal carving in my study hall desk with an X-acto knife lifted from the art supply closet. Somehow I’m guessing I wasn’t the only one.
2. Anal Cunt
Once you realize that’s not a starburst and a teary eye, they never quite wink at you in the same way again.
3. Walt Jabsco/2-Tone Records Logo
As with everything else related to ska, Mr. Jabsco’s chiaroscuro rudeness was blunted into kitsch by the third wave, but his clean, comic lines are why you can still tell a 2-Tone 45 from across a crowded record store. Beware of sloppy, skanking imitators.
Two logos that perfectly capture the music being branded: a fractured space-age font and a loose (bootied) and slightly sinister cartoon.
It’s an interesting tribute to your logo’s immediate pop cultural legibility when it gets jacked by a Chinese restaurant.