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The story of the creation of the Rolling Stones’ tongue logo

Rolling Stones logo story


The story of the creation of the Rolling Stones’ tongue logo

Symbol of the Rolling Stones, the iconic mouth with its tongue hanging out became an art known worldwide. And despite the theories surrounding the logo, it was made thinking precisely for the commercial purpose.


The design was created over 50 years ago by John Pasche. At the time master’s at the Royal College of Art, London. The story of the logo began when he was approached by the Rolling Stones office to make a poster for the band’s next tour.

Rolling Stones logo

In an interview with the New York Times, Pasche revealed that the first draft was immediately declined, but the second was a success for the Rolling Stones. Shortly thereafter, in April 1970, the musicians asked him for another art. They wanted him to “to create a logo or symbol which may be used on note paper, as a programme cover. Also as a cover for the press book.”

Second Rolling Stones logo version

The second and final version, harked back to the aesthetics of the ’30s and ’40s. But also included a Concorde turbojet, was more pleasing. In a meeting with Mick Jagger some months later. He was asked to make “an image that could work on its own. Like the Shell Petroleum logo. He wanted that kind of simplicity.” And Jagger showed the artist an illustration of the Hindu deity Kali. Which Jagger had seen in a shop near his home and asked if he could borrow.

Rolling Stones Hindu deity Kali

He said Jagger was “more interested in the Indian nature of it. I just immediately picked up on the tongue and mouth”. Contrary to popular belief, the logo, originally created in black and white and used to create subsequent versions, was not, at least intentionally intended to represent Jagger’s tongue and lips.

The Stones liked the logo so much that instead of the £ 50 initially combined, they added £ 200 in Pasche’s payment. According to the band, the logo would represent “the band’s anti-authoritarian attitude, Mick Jagger’s mouth and the obvious sexual connotations”. However, Pasche has already revealed that the images were unconscious. And the design was done with a single objective: to look beautiful in goods.

I am a Brazilian journalist, a Classic Rock and Heavy Metal lover. Music has always been part of my life, helped me through tough moments and was with me to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After college I did a postgraduate degree in digital communication. This has helped me to make the website better and bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

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