The famous logo used by the Rolling Stones, which includes lips and a tongue, debuted with which 1971 album?

And the answer is: Sticky Fingers.

Photo credit: johnpasche.com

In one of the earliest examples of rock brand marketing, the Rolling Stones reportedly contacted the Royal College of Art to commission images for the band. Designed by John Pasche and later modified by Craig Braun, the famous lips and tongue logo was introduced on the album sleeve of Sticky Fingers.

What began as a small decal on a record soon became an image to define an entire brand, and eventually an entire genre of rock-n'-roll. Much to designer Pasche's surprise, the popularity of the iconic tongue and lips grew beyond the size of any one record, and continues to harken back to the Rolling Stones' hay-day of rock.

Early in 1970, Royal College of Art in London received notice from the Stones' marketing team. Apparently, the band was in search of an artist to create a poster for their 1970 European tour. The College recommended Pasche, a Master of Arts student in his senior year, who then met with the iconic Mick Jagger to discuss options. The rockstar had a vision: simple, impactful, "an image that could work on its own." As a reference, Jagger showed Pasche an illustration of the Hindu deity Kali.

While Jagger was intrigued by the aspects of Indian culture represented in the deity, Pasche was immediately drawn to the depiction of her open mouth and visible tongue. Pasche ran with his intuition, and the logo was born. Contrary to popular belief, then, the tongue and lips are not those of Mick Jagger.

Pasche does agree, though, that the lips and tongue are somewhat of a protest symbol. "It’s the kind of thing kids do when they stick their tongue out at you," Pasche commented. "That was the main reason I thought it would work well."

Since that fateful day, the logo has appeared on everything from shirts to lighters to shoes to the entire stage of the Super Bowl. The band has grossed what's estimated to be several millions of pounds on the logo's ubiquitous usage alone.

Check out the Stones' 2005 Super Bowl halftime show (atop the iconic lips and tongue) below.


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