Sunday, April 20, 2008
Logo #230: Public Image Ltd.
Public Image Ltd. had their logo designed by Dennis Morris in 1978. Driving to work today, I saw that the band Lit has a logo that's a riff on this one (it was on the back of a red windbreaker, incongruously enough), so we'll be covering that one in the reasonably near future tense. From this rather illuminating interview with Morris: "F&F: Is it true you designed the PiL logo? Dennis: Yeah, I did the logo. I did the first single sleeve, the one that was in a newspaper. I did the first album sleeve, and 'Metal Box'. F&F: I was never sure who designed it. I know that John Lydon said he done it but... Dennis: [laughing] John said he designed it? F&F: Yeah. Dennis: Well, it was John's idea - you see what I mean - in terms of we had a meeting and he spoke about it and he put the idea of public image, but the idea comes from an aspirin! F&F: A pill. Dennis: Yeah, exactly the same as an aspirin. F&F: I think it' s the best band logo that's ever been designed. I think it's absolutely brilliant. Dennis: Yeah, it's very distinct." One of the greatest songs ever written about expectation and alienation is "Public Image." If no one gave a shit about you before and you find yourself in a band and cultivating a public image, having people suddenly come up and tell you how cosmically badasstic you are can be a deeply cynical prospect. Here's John Lydon and Keith Levene on Tom Snyder's show in 1980 - cynicism notwithstanding.