The musicians wanted the KISS logo to be provocative, and that’s exactly what it turned out to be. It feels like a current passing through the body, touching every nerve cell. The same sensations are evoked by the stage images of the rock band and its outrageous music.

KISS: Brand overview

Founder:Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley, Peter Criss
New York City, U.S.
KISS is an American music group working in the genres of glam metal, heavy metal, hard rock, shock rock, and glam rock. Its members are known for their stage outfits, bright makeup, and outrageous behavior. Performances are accompanied by vivid special effects using fire and pyrotechnics.

Meaning and History

KISS Logo History

The KISS logo is unique and precise. It’s a high voltage piercing the body, brain, and nerves. It’s rough due to the realism of the songs. It sparkles because of the brightness of the colors. It’s piercing because it reminds of an electric current discharge. In other words, the sign is timeless because it’s beyond reason: it’s a bundle of energy. It’s an element.

The KISS emblem is one of the most scandalous and recognizable. It appeared in the autumn of 1973 and was first depicted on a concert poster in New York. Guitarist Ace Frehley, who sketched the emblem on several announcements with a marker, is considered the creator of the idea. Then, the drawing was refined by vocalist Paul Stanley, who had an art education.

What is Kiss?

KISS is an American cult rock band known for its bold shows. Its members apply frightening makeup to their faces, dress in provocative glam-rock-style stage costumes, and use pyrotechnics during performances. The group began its rise to fame in 1973 when Ace Frehley joined Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, and Peter Criss. The band released many successful albums, including “Love Gun,” “Rock and Roll Over,” and “Destroyer.”

Using a permanent marker and a ruler, Paul tried to align the lines. He did it by eye, so the “S” letters turned out to be uneven. They still differ slightly from each other because the rock band wasn’t striving for perfection.

Font and Colors

KISS Emblem

The current emblem is very similar to Stanley’s original version. It features the group’s name: uppercase “K” and “I” without serifs and two “S” in the shape of lightning bolts. Some saw this as a direct reference to the Nazi symbol of the Schutzstaffel organization. It went so far that German authorities vetoed the controversial logo and confiscated all KISS albums.

In the late 1980s, the team members had to redesign the drawing. Thus, a version with angular “SS” similar to an unfolded “ZZ” appeared. It was used in all countries where fascist symbols were banned. Later, Ace Frehley confessed that he meant no harm – he just liked the lightning bolt. And the seeming resemblance to the Schutzstaffel symbol was just a coincidence.

KISS Symbol

The color palette deserves special attention. Originally, the inscription was red-yellow with a smooth gradient. The letters are outlined by three lines: one yellow and two black. But there are also simple black-and-white versions of the logo.

KISS color codes

Canary YellowHex color:#fff200
RGB:255 242 0
CMYK:0 5 100 0
Pantone:PMS 3955 C
Neon RedHex color:#ff1f1c
RGB:255 31 28
CMYK:0 88 89 0
Pantone:PMS Bright Red C
BlackHex color:#000000
RGB:0 0 0
CMYK:0 0 0 100
Pantone:PMS Process Black C