Saturday, July 28, 2007

Dead Kennedys: Logo #13

Dead Kennedys logo designer Winston Smith recalls, "I created that after I'd met (Jello) Biafra in either late 1979 or very early 1980. I'd done some work with him and come up with a few things and one evening he gave me a call to ask if I could cook up something they could use for an emblem for the band. He explained that since lots of bands just went by their initials (MDC, DOA, DRI, etc.), they usually got referred to as the DKs. I spent the evening going through dozens of different ideas utilizing different geometric shapes. Finally I got it down to the most minimal amount of pen strokes one could make and still have a legible image. I wanted to create something that would be E-Z for anyone to draw quickly and completely. At least, in that regard, it looks like I was successful. I don't think it's any artistic masterpiece but at least it was original. Anyway, when I first showed it to Biafra a week or so later he said "That's IT!," and before I knew it the logo was drawn all over the walls in the back of the club they were gigging at in Berkeley where we were that night. Unfortunately artists usually can't collect any royalties from tattoos or graffiti, otherwise I'd be retired somewhere in the south of France with a really bad drug habit (which is, fortunately, unaffordable in my current economic situation)."

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