Motley Crue is a hard rock, heavy metal, and glam metal band from the United States. They have over 100 million compilation albums sold, seven platinum and multi-platinum albums, nine top-10 Billboard 200 chart positions, six pop singles in the top 40, and 22 rock hits in the top 20 worldwide. The founding members are Vince Neil (lead vocalist), Mick Mars (guitarist), Tommy Lee (drummer), Nikki Sixx (bassist). This line-up was renewed several times, transforming considerably in the 1990s and the 2000s. The original location of the band was Los Angeles, California. The year of its formation is 1981.
Meaning and History
This band impresses with carefully planned fire shows with fiery guitars, “flaming” drum kits, and lots of pyrotechnics, including a “burning” bassist. So musicians try to fully immerse themselves in the atmosphere of thunderous flashes, reflecting the mood of their compositions because they are not only loud but also bright. The rockers’ career was interrupted in 2016, after the final concert on 12/31/15. But 2.5 years later, the team has recovered again, announcing a new breakthrough in musical activity.
In 1981, when the four talents decided to unite and establish a creative fraternity, they briefly searched for a name. Rejecting the option of Christmas put forward by Sixx, the guys became Mötley Crüe with Mick Mars’ light hand. He remembered that that was roughly the name of the White Horse band he played with. To add originality, the rockers slightly twisted the grammatical spelling of the words and added diacritical symbols – two dots above the vowels. It is supposed to be a tribute to the German beer Löwenbräu, which they were drinking at that time. The transformed version of the inscription, presented in different styles, gradually flooded all the team’s albums, becoming not only a decoration but also a logo. There are ten of them in total.
1981 – 1983
The debut album features a large charcoal-black rectangle. It has the name of the musical group written on it in red. The italicized font is pulled upward. The characters are large, with sharp or right angles. Above the “O” and “U” are dots. They are exactly opposite the lines that form the letters.
1983 – 1985
The Motley Crue band’s second compilation has a lined and smoothed cover. The tall letters have rounded corners, and the dots are joined together and moved to the middle. The dark background is gone – only a white neutral space remains.
1985 – 1987
During this period, the text had a Gothic design: elongated “flowing” down black characters, small dots, like eye pupils, and “screaming” letters. The scream is conveyed in the enlarged inner gaps, depicting the mouth opened in horror. The “O” and the “E” stand out in this regard. “C” looks like clenched teeth, and “M” and “R” have extended spike-like legs. Sharp serrations are present almost everywhere.
1987 – 1989
Red handwritten lettering appears on the album cover. Unlike the previous versions, this version looks mystical. And all because of the black background in the form of a rectangle, resembling a coffin. Besides, it looks like the text was written with blood, so bright was the color chosen by the designers.
1989 – 1994
The theme of death and horrors continued in the next logo, which adorned the music collection of 1989. The rectangle became narrower, the letters straight and outlined. But at the same time, they retained the handwritten style. White skulls and crossed bones lurk to the right and left (in the curves of “M” and “E”). The “Motley Crue” inscription is in lower case, except for the first letters.
1994 – 1997
In 1994 a cardinal change of the logo took place. On the cover of the next album, the bloody imprint of the name of the musical band appeared again. The characters are large, capitalized, wide. The surface of the letters is blurry as if they had aged or been shabby. The text is broken into two lines, with the lower one slightly overlapping the upper one, hiding the ends of the characters. Around and inside are horizontal and dotted bars of the same color as the letters. The background is a black rectangle.
1997 – 1999
The emblem shows the same lettering but in a revised form. The designers removed the geometric figure and stretched the text in a single row. The letters are now linear but different in size and location in words – some higher, others lower. The edge of the characters is jagged as if torn. The “C” has a thickening that resembles a crescent moon.
2000 – 2008
The cover of Motley Crue’s next album features a Japanese-style inscription. Each letter looks like a hieroglyph with a point at the bottom.
2008 – 2011
Now the compilation’s cover is decorated with characters from the Old English alphabet. The characters have thickenings, spikes, swirls, and other symbolic elements. Some of the letters (especially the “t,” “l,” and “u”) look like downward pointing arrows, and the capital “C” is shaped like an axe blade. The white words are placed on a contrasting background – black with red fragments of faces and ornaments.
2012 – today
The current version of the logo consists of strict geometric lettering with the members of Motley Crue behind it. Real photographs combined with drawn elements are used for the cover. The band’s name is diagonal and pointed upward. The diacritical marks above the “U” and “O” look like the musicians’ suits’ orders. The background is a wide rectangle of gray with a gradient and small dark dots.
Font and Colors of the Emblem
The stylized name of the famous American rock glam band not only decorated their albums. They used it at concerts and on tours that took place during the marked period. Naturally, the design necessarily echoed the content of the songs and reflected their hidden meaning. But besides those listed, there was another variant of the logo – in the form of an inverted pentagram. Earlier, this sign was interpreted as a symbol of Christ, but then it was given an aura of Satanism. The five-pointed star is surrounded by a red ring and overlaid with a black inscription. All the letters in it are tall and thin.
Each album is a unique world with its style, so the fonts are different. According to the musicians, in 1985, they used Midnight Moon typeface with a gothic design, in 1987 – italic with the accent on graffiti. In 1989 they chose a calligraphic italic typeface, in 1994 a stencil typeface supplemented with sloppy strokes, and in 1997 a magazine typeface. The typeface on the cover of the 2000 collection was in hieroglyphic to emphasize the Asian atmosphere. In 2008, the lettering in the logo was in complex Old English letters, and in 2012, it was printed with a chrome effect.
The palette of Motley Crue’s musical logos is quite consistent with hard rock and heavy metal. It consists of rock colors and presents the classic combination of black and red. In some cases, they are diluted with white. More varied in color is the last emblem, where in addition to the traditional gamma, there are also restrained steel shades mixed with cold blues and blues.