V&A buys original Rolling Stones logo

Rolling Stones logo design
Image copyright: Max Nash / AFP

The V&A Museum has paid slightly over £50,000 at auction for the original drawings of the Rolling Stones logo, devised by British designer John Pasche in 1970, it announced last night.

Pasche was studying at London’s Royal College of Art when Stones frontman Mick Jagger, disappointed by the designs put forward by record label Decca, began looking for a design student to help create a logo.

The logo was commissioned for £50, but the Rolling Stones were so pleased with the design they gave Pasche a bonus of £200.

Pasche had already decided to sell the drawing at a US auction house when the V&A enquired about borrowing it for an exhibition. On learning the work was for sale, the museum lodged a winning bid of $92,500 on Saturday, half of which was provided by the Art Fund charity.

Rolling Stones lips logo design

The inspiration for the eventual logo, which took Pasche around two weeks of work, has never been in doubt.

“I wanted something anti-authority, but I suppose the mouth idea came from when I met Jagger for the first time at the Stones’ offices. I went into this sort of wood-panelled boardroom and there he was. Face to face with him, the first thing you were aware of was the size of his lips and his mouth.”

Mick Jagger open mouthed

Further reading on the Rolling Stones logo sale

11 responses

  1. Good on the V&A! I love wandering that museum. Some of it is ‘oh, so boring’. Some is amazing. Now they’ve added yet another amazing item to their shelves. Nice.

  2. Aaron, Andrew,

    I’m very happy for John Pasche. He’s using the cash for his kids’ college fund, so it’ll mean a lot to him.


    Absolutely! Sadly, this hasn’t yet happened to me. :)

    Cat, Chaitanya,

    I’ve not yet visited the V&A, but it’s most definitely on my ‘to-do’. Next time I’m in London I’ll be making a point of going.

  3. Hei, David,

    nice and very useful internet journal You have here. Thanks for all the useful info, discussions and links as well.

    I myself write a little blog (though journal sounds better) on branding. Unfortunately it’s in latvian — so You will not be able to read it. Nevertheless, i did an article on Stones logo too, and John Pasche even did answered my email. I just pasted the selected parts of his answer in the article — the quotation is in english — so You can check that out. There are some interesting facts You might be interested in.

    chech ‘da link:


  4. It is good to see that grate pieces of design are being saved by the nation for future generations. After all the creative industrys are one of the cornerstones of the British economy.

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