Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Shitty metal logos get props from the shitty design community

We all know what fags designers are, right? Fashion designers, industrial designers (I know they sound tough, but they aren't) and, of course, graphic designers. Graphic designers are the dickless shits responsible for the UPS trucks being that ugly-ass brown and for those uber-gay ipod ads. Yeah, yeah, you're cool. You know how to push a few buttons in some crappy Adobe program and you think you are better than the rest of us. I know a few graphic designers here and there and, believe me, they actually think that what they do is important. I'm not kidding. With the exception of actors, graphic designers are the most narcissistic, arrogant, big headed, proud, conceited, immodest, vain, self-important, self-satisfied, self-righteous and self-involved people in the planet. Don't believe me? Go to a bookstore and check out the graphic design section. There are hundreds and hundreds of books by designers for designers about design. They think that what they do is so vital that the world needs book after book about design. In reality, they just wanna make themselves feel better about sitting in front of an over priced ibook making pretty pictures all day.

One of these books caught my eye recently and it illustrates just how out-of-touch these black-turtleneck-wearing fags really are. The book is called "BAND ID- The Ultimate Book of Band Logos". Wow! We're lucky it's the ultimate one. See? Even in their book titles they exaggerate their importance. Anyway, this collection was put together by this dude named Bodhi Oser. He's basically a hippie looser from Venice Beach, who wouldn't last a second in a serious Biohazard pit. So, what does he know about metal? Nothing, but the combination of his ignorance and his self-righteousness make for a funny-ass book.

I know the pics are blurry and crappy, but I "borrowed" the book from this dude in my office while he was in the crapper, so I was short on time, y'know?




I can see why designers would like this logo. It's sorta symmetrical and shit, but that "L" looks like an "S" with down syndrome. I still can't get over the thought of some trendy faggy designers sitting around a conference room table discussing whether or not the Death Angel logo would "make the cut". It's just fucking preposterous.




I always loved the Anthrax logo. I'm not sure why. Maybe 'cuz it's not symmetrical, like the other thrash metal logos of the time. The Nuclear Assault logo is chuck-full-o-horribleness. I find the "E" and the double "SS" offensive on grounds of really bad typographical balance.


Emperor and their shitty logo, with skinny Ethiopian letters, can suck my balls. So can Mortiis. I'm sure he did the logo himself. God, it's as terrible as his "music". On a more positive note, Death's logo is bad-ass. Sure, the "T" is three times thicker than the rest of the letters, but it's a cross! Upside-down? Not really. It's a mystery, just like why the band started to suck shit after Leprosy. I love the Napalm Death logo, simply because it's obvious the original was rendered by a 16 year old using a ball-point pen.



Obituary and Venom are two of the radest logos in the book and they share a page! Wait, maybe the author knew something about metal after all... Nah, beginner's luck.



BARF! This whole page is shit. The Moonspell logo would be cool if the letters were fatter and more manly, but I guess that's something black metal knows nothing about, huh? My Dying Bride's logo looks like Micheal J. Fox drew it.



Cradle of Filth and Hatebreed suck, fuck'em. I probably stand alone here, but I love Pungent Stench, therefore my judgement on their logo is biased. I have the Been Caught Buttering t-shirt and I wear it all the time to this very day.



Hahaha! Overkill shares the page with a whole bunch of other shitty bands!



Morbid Angel's logo has probably won multiple awards in the design community as the shittiest logo in history. And that probably included the "logo" from "Tacos Pedrito", a tiny taqueria by my house. God, look at that "A"! It's as painful as their music! The "G" holding the pitchfork has to be the worst use of a letter form since cuneiform was invented in 3000BC.
Dark Throne's looks like it was done in ink and they left it outside when it was raining. In a Norwegian forest, of course.




I like Entombed's logo and I think Carcass' looks like a used tampon. The Chasm, Usurper and Hate Eternal's logos were designed to give Morbid Angel's a run for it's money. Congrats guys, you almost made it.



I don't know what to say about this page, other than: WTF!? Municipal Waste? I'm pretty sure Seth Putnam never thought that his retarded doodles of assholes and vaginas would end up in a book about logos. Hmmm... Nox needs to... I don't know what they need to do, but whatever it is it should be funny and make them disappear. Forever.



The only good thing about the Scorpions logo is that I could re-create it on my shitty PC as a kid by just using a pre-loaded font. Other than that this page is pretty rad. Maiden, Priest, Annihilator and Testament. Solid bands, solid logos.


If I had real testicles when I was 15, all 3 of these logos would be tattooed on my body. Thank God I didn't grow balls until I was 20! Well, I don't think the Obituary tattoo is much better.



Another 3 logos I'd tattoo on my body. The Exodus one is a little weak, 'cuz the "E" and the "S" are all slouched, but it's still pretty metal. Kreator and Destruction logos adorned every other page in my notebooks in school for years.



I'm not sure what to make of the little bat flying over the Kind Diamond logo, but other than that KD's is a classic logo and, like their music, way better than Merciful Fate's. I know I'm gonna get the typical "you don't know what you're talking about, MF rule." blabber. Save it, MF sucks.



You know what doesn't suck? Slayer logos. It's tough to judge the logo of such an awesome metal band without allowing their awesomeness get in the way of your judgement, but the sword pentagram is SO bad-ass that just drawing it makes you more metal. The newer one they used on "Seasons" sucks. It's basically a font. It's called Ironwood. It fucking sucks.


Hmmm... I guess this is as good a time as any to tell you all that I'm a graphic designer

51 comments:

  1. As a fellow designer and a raging metal head I was happy to see you delve deep into this subject. Speaking of logos... whatever happened to the Metal Inquisition logos? Thanks once again for the props to King Diamond, and you are correct, King is far better than Mercyful Fate (see "Into the Unknown"). Also be sure to check out my book coming out this fall. I analyze and critique the controversial design book "Kerning: the lost discipline"

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  2. Hey, yeah, that the hell ever did happen with that logo contest!? Good call!

    Oh yeah, and technically, I'm a "graphic designer", too. But these days I do much more coding than designing...

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  3. Haha, I realy embarresed myself when I made one. I was up late and just goofing around. Just after I send it I noticed that I forgot to put the second 'i' in inquisition...

    A little summary of what was in it:
    - Spikey letters
    - Multiple outlines
    - 4 upside down crosses
    - Letters T is shaped like a cross: 2
    - 3 Pentagrams
    - 1 Grim Reaper head/skull
    - 1 Umlaut
    - Obligatory symmetrically placed knifeletters
    - 1 Pointy tail of Satan
    - 2 Evil eyes that make one of the letters look like an evil hooded figure

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  4. i did one too. i copied letters from a random selection of band logos (from lividity to maiden), including an umlaut over an inverted pentagram, a crown-of-thorns O, and a pink upside-down cross (to denote homoerotism). i did it in pencil, on a notebook paper that i'd turned my crib inside out to find. and these fuckers didn't even write me back to say it sucks!

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  5. Amazing entry X_D I bought this book myself and I share some of the thoughts... I love it though :)

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  6. realx dudes... the logos will be posted soon. the MI staff has real jobs you know? we only have so much time! jeez! ok we been lazy about it, sorry :( i promise to post them soon.

    PS: they all sucked.

    .

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  7. Hey, it's cool. No worries.

    I thought that maybe you were sitting on a giant pile of submitted logo's, just bidding your time. Waiting 10 years after we have forgotten about it, settled down with a house of our own, a nice job that pays well, married a beautiful wife and have a little spawn/pet of our own.

    And the all of a sudden BAM!, it comes to bite us in the ass when it's put on the frontpage.

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  8. I'm not a designer. I took one design class in college and said, "Fuck. This. Bullshit." Got a degree in fine art instead, which I guess makes me even more gay, but slightly less self-important...

    Anyway, I can't believe someone would include all those metal logos in a book showcasing good design, unless it was part of a chapter called 'Glaring Examples of What Not To Do'.

    Santana and Anal Cunt in the same book?! The Dark Throne design is good?!

    And why would you buy such a book in the first place?

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  9. I lol'd heartily, even when I disagree with certain opinions *COUGHMERCYFULFATECOUGH*.

    On similar note, an equally stupid hipster book is the "Every Known Metal Band" or somesuch. It's this rectangular book that's wider than it is high and is bound in a cloth-like substance. The pages are on a nice black stock.

    The contents? Names. The entire book is a list of fucking names. That's it.

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  10. As a disgruntled graphic design whore I have to say that the book is a lame excuse for name dropping 'cuz most those logos at least kinda suck. Cathedral? All that logo is is a gaelic font, and Callisto is just that, the callisto font!
    Oh yeah, I don't do design now.

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  11. mercyful fate is WAYYYYY better than king diamond.

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  12. Nuclear Assault, Death Angel, Testament, Metallica, Destruction, Kreator - all great logos!! Slayer's sword pentagram logo is classic, of course. And the war eagle too!! Overkill's main logo is pretty average but there was the one that had the skull with bat wings on top of an altered "O" from the main logo - that one was pretty fuckin bad ass!! Obituary's logo was cool before they decided they should make the "T" into a corkscrew.

    Best ones I can think of that weren't mentioned: At War, Rigor Mortis (bones logo, 1st LP), Target (logo from Mission Executed), Sentinel Beast (including the three headed dog).

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  13. look at that crappy Deathwitch logo,it looks like they stole it from a kids cartoon show..the Slayer pentagram is just classic,thats badass..i remember the first Exodus logo,i used to hate it cuz it had a guitar going thru the X and thats just lame,a crappy guitar at that too..the worst is demo bands where its just shitty computer fonts that they use on their shitty 12 dollars demo cds that they want you to buy in Metal Maniac crappy "demo" review section..the Darkthron logo i dig though and the Death logo on the first couple albums was dope..so was Possessed before they went lame and ditched the upside down cross..
    Leviathan and Xasthurs logos are fully black metal,those are dope logos,they just look grim like the musics supposed to..

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  14. Just the inclusion of false metal, choad-chugging ironic hipster metal mavens Valient Thorr destroys any and all credibility to this absolute waste of trees of a book. I can see this rancid tome collecting dust on the Balinesian coffee tables of assholes who live in trendy lofts in the lower east side. "Dude, you know what's funny? ....Metal. You know what's not funny? ...My insatiable thirst for cocaine and my smug sense of self-importance" Leave art to artists, leave metal to doughy blue collar misanthropes. ANother great post for M.I.

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  15. Oh cool, I got a shitty review on some cynical blog that no one reads. Cynicism, what a completely original idea for a blogger. No one is doing that nowadays. I wish I thought of it.

    Crazy how nice your blog is designed though. Most of the really talented graphic designers I know use Blogspot for their blogs. It lets you really express your creativity. Nothing like showing off your skills by using a pre-made template. At least you picked the all-black template. That will prove to everyone how metal you really are huh.

    Anyway you're right, I wouldn't last a second in a Biohazard pit, because I wouldn't be at the show in the first place. Those guys seriously fucking suck! In fact, when I went to see Gwar at City Gardens in '93, Biohazard was the opening band, so I purposely didn't show up until they were off the stage. Biohazard, yeah, all the really hardcore bands did collaborations with Onyx.

    And to you "Stephen" (that's not a faggy name at all...) and "skid" (row), there's a reason the tagline for the book isn't called "The BEST Band Logos Ever". I wanted to include as many examples of band logos as possible, good and bad. In many ways, the bad ones are just as good as the good ones because if you like the band, it really doesn't even matter how technically "good" the logo design is. I'll bet you had your mom sew some pretty shitty logos on your trendy fucking jean jacket at some point.

    I'm guessing that you guys are all just using your wit to disguise your jealousy. Not all of us are smart enough to be able to turn our obsession with music into something we can actually profit off of. No, it's a better idea to just keep living in your parents basement, taking bong rips and jerking off to Lita Ford posters.

    Now I can go back to rolling around naked in all the cash I made off this "funny-ass book" and you and your boys club can get back to re-living your pre-balding 80's metal memories. Fuck off you talentless wankers!

    Hmmm... I guess this is as good a time as any to tell you all that I actually love this review of the book. It's my favorite so far. Thank you.

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  16. All the books of this kind are such a waste of trees and ink chemical inhalations for the people who manufacture them. the only book of this kind i've seen and liked was one that included all the posters made in the soviet union.

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  17. Let's get a few things fuckin' straight, assholes.

    1) Mercyful Fate blow King Diamond so far out of the water it's fucking ridiculous.
    2) The author of this book sits around googling himself in order to defend his "honor" commenting on blogs "no one reads."
    3) Pungent Stench has by far the best logo in this book.
    4) They cut off the bottom of the Dakrthrone logo, what the fuck is that about? GB2School, fucking duncecocks.
    5) Spreading the Slayer logo over two entire pages is silly hipster bullshit and should be avoided. "Look it's Slayer. They're the quintessential metal band." Hint from the internet: they're not. And the sword pentagram logo is the best one anyway.
    6) Every single Christophe Szpajdel logo is ridiculous and looks like ass. The Emperor logo is probably the single worst one of his entire production, and he's still sailing on.
    7) I have tattoos of at least one of the logos in this book, which I guess shoots me off to either the metal idiot credibility camp or the absolute fucking moron camp. It's not your pick, so shut the fuck up and go home.

    Hey Bodhi, should you read this: does the book have the Winter logo? Seriously, I'm just wondering. They were the quintessential metal band.

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  18. all kidding aside, this book could've been compiled over one weekend by any high-school metalhead with internet access. but at least the fact that it's more or less genre-arranged shows some elementary knowledge (though i'm sure it's attempted to be passed off as "authority"). still, i can't see what hatebreed's doing next to pungent stench, or why simplify the colors andy warhol-style. i guess it's a "designer thing".

    it's just one of those obvious ideas no one's ever thought of due to its sheer pointlessness. no one needs this. the only people who'll buy this are the ones aesop described (i'm from europe, but i can relate). and if there's really enough of them to make this a profitable endeavor, then it's just depressing. but i guess it makes the author a market connoisseur.

    still, i hope the "cash he rolls around naked in" is barely big enough to cover his genitalia, and that he contracts a disease through his pee-pee.

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  19. HAHAHAHHA great shit. Great post. Great comments. Great shit.

    (Funny to see Aesop crusing here as well, you old dog, I am just saying, putting my stamp here too...)

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  20. Wow, someone's been Googling their own name.

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  21. I don't know what it is about the Anthrax logo either, but I do love it. The awkward asymmetrical balance and the clinical precision are tasty.

    i love that the author drops by to defend the book. and takes this blog all seriously-like.

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  22. I'm listening to Pungent Stench right now. I wonder if I was subconsciously inspired by this post...

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  23. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  24. On a few occasions I've hung around while douchey design guys browsed fonts like they were porn. While not very metal it definitely exudes a certain sickness.

    Oh......
    I have always liked Nuclear Assault's logo.

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  25. Loud seconding of almost all of Svein's points. Great comments in this piece!

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  26. Pungent Stench Kills.
    Best Logo ever.

    If that was really the "author" of that book, he seems pretty sensitive.

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  27. ...also, Why they did'nt use the logo on the covers of the re-releases will never make sense to me.

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  28. The author was obviously being sarcastic. Read the last sentence. I think his response was pretty funny.

    But seriously, is this book any good?

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  29. I noticed that the upside-down cross in Death's logo got strange after "Spiritual healing"...it slowly straightened up.

    The logo I like most is the old CARCASS!

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  30. The Venom logo is cut out letter-by-letter of some art the Dean brothers did for Yes albums and other stuff. But that doesn't make it or them any less awesome.

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  31. OK, just following up here since "James" seems to be the only person on here who understands sarcasm. Yes, I was being totally sarcastic with my response. I really did enjoy reading the review (both the good and bad parts), and I'm glad it sparked a decent discussion. So here are a few real answers to some of the comments.

    1) Yes, I google the shit out of myself. I dare any one of you to manage to get a book published with a major publisher, have it hit the shelves, and then not google yourself to see what people think of it. Regardless of what a lot of you may think, I'm actually really proud of this book, and I'm very curious to read what people are saying about it.

    2) No, the Winter logo isn't in the book. I guess I'm really not that hardcore because I've never heard of them until you mentioned them, so I checked them out on Wikipedia. Now I know.

    3) "Chris", your comment bugs me the most. "all kidding aside, this book could've been compiled over one weekend by any high-school metalhead with internet access". This shows a clear lack of understanding of design and the internet, so let me fill you in a bit. Give it a try yourself, pull a logo off the internet and print it out at 8" high and tell me how it looks. It doesn't work. It comes out shitty looking, pixelated and blurry. It took so much work and research and cold calling and emailing and talking to record companies and bands and band managers to try to track down logos that were "printable". Believe me, I wish I could have just pulled them off the web. It would have saved me a year of work. That's the thing, I realize (as some people have mentioned) there are some bands missing that I would like to have in there, but I just couldn't find a good quality printable logo anywhere.

    4) The tree killing comments are pretty much true, but I think you should take this up with J.K. Rawlings or Stephen King. My small print run on this book really isn't doing much damage. Plus, remember, you're making these comments on a computer that isn't biodegradable or recyclable, I'm sure you have a car, and if you eat meat (I guess I am kind of a hippie) then you're doing your own fair share of damage.

    5) "Asa" I agree, "Every Known Metal Band" is a piece of shit book that no one should buy. Now that book is a true waste of paper and ink.

    6) The Anal Cunt logo is one of my favorites in the book. I think it's hilarious.

    Finally, I'll wrap it up by saying, I'm a metalhead and a graphic designer, so this book is right up my alley, that's why I made it. I really am interested to see what non-designer music fans think of it. In my little head, I thought that general music fans would appreciate it too. But many of you are proving me wrong. You all wear t-shirts with band logos on them, you've all seen them on the albums for years, and certain ones (Rolling Stones, AC/DC, Metallica, Sex Pistols, Ramones) are almost more popular than the music itself, but the artists who created them have gone completely uncredited for years.

    So what this book really is, is a tribute to the artists more than the bands. I'm not sure if you realize it, but this is a quickly dying art. Band logos are disappearing along with the rest of the artwork that used to come with your music. That's why most of the logos that you know and relate to are from the 80's and 90's. As we push further into the mp3 revolution, there really is no more reason for band logos. Most of the new bands don't have a constant logo anymore that they use album after album. They usually switch it with each new release (along with the look of the website).

    So I guess that's it. I'm sitting in a hotel room in London with nothing to do, that's why I have so much time to kill on this response. So if anyone really does have any other questions, I'd be happy to answer them.

    p.s. - when I mentioned "taking bong rips and jerking off to Lita Ford posters", I was talking from experience.

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  32. I disagree about logos being a dying art.

    Perhaps they are not as visible anymore, but that's only because real metal is no longer as popular as it was in the 80's and 90's.

    I'd say real metal today is just as logocentric as it ever was.

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  33. I'm completely missing how anything in Bodhi's first comment could possibly be imagined as anything but sore-assed whining from a disgruntled pretentious bastard. Then again, I don't prescribe to sarcasm, irony or any other bullshit, so I'd probably be missing out anyway. What the fuck.

    Anyway, Bodhi, you should check out Winter. Their one and only album "Into darkness" was reissued again by Nuclear Blast about seven years ago in a horrible looking baby blue digipak, after having been left out in the cold for a great batch of years since the original release on some label I can't even remember the name of. They played downtuned, snailpaced Celtic Frost dirge in 1990, years before other bands made it fashionable. They were hippies like you too, their whole schtick was the end of the world and dying trees and crying rivers and shit. Also, they were pretty much the heaviest band to ever live. When I first got their record I played through the bulk of it at 45 RPM and didn't know I was fucking it up until I read "33 RPM" on the label way later. This is a long fucking paragraph, dudes!

    You might have heard a more contemprary band called Coffins, they are also very good and sound pretty much like Winter only with Steve Heritage on vocals. Now, I would never slag Steve Heritage for anything in the world--he ran one of my favorite bands of all time, but the dude in Winter sounded better.

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  34. Actually, JK Rowling has been on the receiving end of many acerbic, yet witty, letters from me in defense of our arboreal friends. I don't drive a car, I don't eat meat and my laptop is completely made of hemp, so there! You got one thing straight, the Anal Cunt logo is design at it's finest.

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  35. bodhi, it's okay, man. what i meant to say was it requires no designer skills or creativity. but i only reacted 'cause i failed to detect any sarcasm in your post (and i still do), and those "criticism=jealousy" knee-jerks always make my bowels move immediately. but your last post clears things up a bit. i get it: the book's an homage to a "dying art" and generations of uncredited artists. and i respect that. but i still think such endeavors should by undertaken only (if at all) by established designers who've proven themselves hands-on. bear in mind i know nothing about you, though. otherwise it's like "hey, i'm a designer 'cause i collect fruits of other people's creativity and make money off it". and these are my views as a total layman and an outsider to the world of design.

    but no hard feelings, though. i'm nursing an injured knee, that's why i've got time to fuck around. hope the hatchet's buried now.

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  36. Winter were pretty awesome. A hm on the aurally heaviest band ever comment though. I'll go with Esoteric.

    Since we have the author here: bodhi, congrats on your book. Yes, it's a lot of grunt-work I believe you to get the logos printable etc. I enjoyed the pictures in the blog and I'd buy it if I had the money to spare. It's a good conversation piece, as the 'favorite logo' (mine is either the Dismember one or the Dark Angel one, with special mention to the Unholy logo) is always a topic with metalheads, and it'd be good to be able to back it up right then and there on the coffee table.

    And I do agree that they'd be interesting to non-metal people. In fact I think logos and covers have ensnared clueless people into Heavy Metal the most, that is after the "listened to random maiden/sabbath/priest/metallica song on the radio" factor. So I think you did a good job as far as I can tell from the pictures, of course there's omissions and so what. That's what second editions are for.

    The only thing I'll give the commentators is that the SLAYER SLAAAYEEERR SLAYEEEEEER thing really really really doesn't need to translate from real life to a book about music logos. Anyone that isn't an avid Slayerophile has suffered this dumb cry way too much so you aren't earning any points there.

    Also if you don't mind, don't accuse people that criticize you (no matter how mean-spiritedly) of being jealous of you!

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  37. Winter music is really impressive, even to this day. Totally disturbing, slow, oppressive.
    If you like them, you also should check DISEMBOWELMENT out.

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  38. coffins is heavy as shit. i saw them at MDF and they were staying in the same hotel i was staying in, and they speak maybe 3 words of english between them.

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  39. the best thing about the interweb is that if you talk shit about someone, it's entirely likely that they'll show up and act like a butthurt fag, with lolz for everyone!

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  40. A book like this may seem pointless, or a waste of paper, but at least it brings back good memories.
    I think the worst piece of crap I've ever bought was the "Enciclopedia dell'horror metal", published in Italy. Basically a list of metal bands with silly and uninformed comments and bios.

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  41. never in a million years did i think that this post would get these many comments. haha!
    it was just my day to post and a co-worker happened to have shown me the book like 2 days earlier. i could not believe that the AC logo was in a book. so, i thought i'd do a post just about that. but then, how could i leave municipal waste out? so, i decided to do a longer post on a few more logos. but how could i angle it? every post needs a bad guy, i thought graphic designers were perfect. we are all a bunch of self-righteous art-fags.
    so, bodhi was just an innocent victim of my lameness. i saw that he was from venice, and the hippie thing came out. then i thought, what band is as non-california as it gets? brooklyn's own 'hazard, of course! the rest of the post just flowed easily. making fun of shitty logos isn't brain surgery.

    anyway, the fact is that the book is pretty interesting and the foreward by art chantry is worth the read. im a fucking nerd and i hate you all.

    spain 0 - 0 italy
    71st minute

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  42. The Mercyful Fate logo would kick the King Diamond logo's ass in a fight. I'm just sayin'...

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  43. Ah ah ah ah ah! Annihiliator a "solid band"!!! What a moron!! Ah ah ah!

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  44. So many metal fans as graphic designers...

    I'm also into logo design due to the bands logos, so I must get this book :)

    I've made the latest Moonspell logo for Night eternal, and I agree the first moonspell logo rules.

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  45. Graphic Designers = Fags?
    I'm not a fag, asswipe. And I'm fucking awesome designer. But I do agree that most METAL logos suck ass. In fact, I'd go so far as to say the whole metal gestalt sucks ass. Can we get out of the fucking bat cave already and do something worthy of viewing?

    I'm so sick and tired of all these idiots with a computer and few fonts plus photoshop calling themselves "designers."

    Now if you don't mind, I think I'll go cut myself. (I'm kidding....I fucking hate emo too. Wasn't Emo a comedian in the 70s?)

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  46. Did you read this post, or just skip to the end to leave your comment? You missed the point and the boat.

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  47. Emo Phillips, my favorite comedian. I barely breathed through his performance, 'cause I was laughing so hard.

    Where's the New Christy Minstrels logo?

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  48. you're a miserable fag.

    kill yourself.

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  49. Who cares about the music. Whose logo is better, Mercyful Fate or King Diamond? Discuss.

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