When it comes to band logos, no act’s visual representation is more complex and thought out than Queen‘s.
The crest adorned multiple album covers and became part of the mythical folklore of the band’s legacy. First appearing on debut album Queen in 1973 on the back cover as part of a collage, it would become a focal point later in Queen’s career. It’s easy to get lost in the busyness of how it was designed, but all the elements come together to make sense.
Five of the creatures represent the band members: the two lions represent bassist John Deacon and drummer Roger Taylor, who are both Leos; there’s a crab for May, of the Cancer horoscope; and the there’s Freddie, represented by two fairies.
Looking overhead is a phoenix, a symbol of resurrection and resilience. Centered in the logo is a Q for queen, as well as a crown to drive home the ‘royalty’ factor.
And the designer behind the iconic lgoo? You might be surprised to learn it was done by Freddie Mercury. The singer studied Art and Graphic Design at Ealing Art College in London, and was also a fan of astrology.
Whether on-stage or off-stage, Mercury’s art was always carefully considered–from the song arrangements of “Bohemian Rhapsody” to the band’s ambitious logo, nothing was ever half-done.