AC/DC logos and lettering

5

As with several bands during the 1970s, it often took a few albums before a definitive logo style or brand was created that ‘stuck’. One such example is AC/DC. Their first two albums were only initially released in Australia and both featured variations on a stencil theme with a lightning bolt dividing the two sets of initials:

 

both of these can be recreated using Glaser Stencil font, but you’ll need to draw a lightning bolt to complete the effect…

they then released ‘High Voltage’ in Europe but with a newly designed sleeve featuring a different logo and album title font, both hand drawn

then came ‘Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap’ with an album cover designed and photographed by Hipgnosis. The band lettering can be recreated with ‘Marker Felt’ font (it was probably originally ‘Dom Casual’ by Letraset) which gives a very close resemblance once italicised to match the angle on the sleeve:

and the album title can be recreated using Calvert font (with slightly enlarged initial caps to match the album sleeve)

The next album ‘Let There Be Rock’ featured the now iconic logo design below,

but this was dropped for the next album ‘Powerage’ in favour of another one-off design

The font used is Shatter, note the original slash in the font below, so as usual, you’d need to draw the lightning bolt by hand to match the logo. Font version below:

Then it was back to the ‘Let There Be Rock’ version which has subsequently established itself (with a few variations and tweaks every now and then) to become a brand in its own right.

Note how ‘Black Ice’ has lost the 3D bevelled edge from the logo for the first time.

Here’s some fonts to create the album titles:

‘Let There Be Rock’ was quite a tricky one to track down, but the best example I can find is called Minerva Display Caelatura.

‘If You Want Blood’ is using a font called Alexandria, it’s not the same font as ‘Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap’…

‘Highway To Hell’ is proving to be elusive…it’s possibly hand drawn, but the closest I can find is Windsor Elongated…

‘Back In Black’ is a tricky one to make out because the original sleeve just has the font embossed (and not printed). At first glance Times looks likely but only upon closer inspection can you see the cusps of the ‘C’ are classic Garamond. The specific cut of Garamond for the album title is ITC Garamond:

whereas the next album ‘For Those About To Rock’ IS Times:

‘Flick Of The Switch’ and ‘Fly On The Wall’ both use hand drawn lettering, so we move on to ‘Who Made Who’ which uses an Ancient Roman upper case style font as though the lettering has been chiselled into the stone between the columns. Augustea is the font used:

‘Blow Up Your Video’ makes little effort with the lettering. Helvetica 65 Medium is an exact match with the album sleeve:

‘The Razor’s Edge’ is more like it! But it’s hand drawn and not a font…shame.

‘Stiff Upper Lip’ uses Times once again for the engraved title beneath the Angus statuette:

‘Black Ice’ uses an expanded and letter spaced font that is very close to Franklin Gothic Book:

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5 thoughts on “AC/DC logos and lettering

  1. jrubas91 says:

    I’ve always loved the lettering on Back in Black. Great article, by the way.

  2. Paris Georgiades says:

    Great article.

    Can you specify what kind of “TIME” is used on FOR THOSE ABOUT TO ROCK?

    Cheers

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