In 1973 the band's contract was up with their record label, so instead of signing a new contract. The band decided to start their own record label. This label was called Swan Song Records, and it launched in May of 1974, featuring an artist's rendition of the angel Icarus as its logo.
The iconic Led Zeppelin "Icarus" logo is as recognizable as the band's music itself. Designed by artist and designer Zacron in 1975, the logo features a stylized image of the mythical figure Icarus with wings spread and arms raised, surrounded by a circular border with the band's name at the top.
The logo has been subject to many interpretations over the years, but its origins lie in the album artwork for Led Zeppelin's 1975 album, "Physical Graffiti." Zacron was commissioned to design the album's cover, which featured a series of windows on a New York City brownstone building. Each window was a cutout revealing a different image, creating a sense of depth and dimensionality.
For the inner sleeve of the album, Zacron wanted to create an image that would capture the energy and intensity of Led Zeppelin's music. He drew inspiration from the Greek myth of Icarus, who famously flew too close to the sun and fell to his death when his wings melted. Zacron saw a parallel between Icarus' doomed flight and the band's meteoric rise to fame and decided to use the image of Icarus as a symbol for Led Zeppelin's soaring music.
The logo itself was created using a combination of hand-drawn and photographic techniques. Zacron first sketched the Icarus figure on paper, then transferred the drawing to a transparency and projected it onto a photographic plate. He then added photographic elements to the plate, such as a sunburst and clouds, to create the final image.
The circular border around the logo was inspired by the circular shape of vinyl records. Zacron wanted the logo to be instantly recognizable and to stand out on album covers, so he added the band's name at the top of the border in bold, capitalized letters.
Over the years, the "Icarus" logo has become synonymous with Led Zeppelin and has been used on countless merchandise items, from t-shirts to posters to keychains. Its enduring popularity is a testament to the band's lasting impact on music and culture, as well as the timeless quality of Zacron's design.
In terms of meaning, the logo represents the band's musical energy and ambition, as well as their willingness to take risks and push boundaries. Icarus' wings represent the band's ability to soar to great heights with their music, while the circular border symbolizes the unity and continuity of their creative vision. The logo is a visual representation of Led Zeppelin's iconic sound and a reminder of their enduring legacy in rock music history.
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Color: Light Grey