Interview by: John Wisniewski
John Pasche is an English art designer, most famous for designing the “Tongue and Lip Design” logo for the rock band The Rolling Stones.John Pasche designed four tour posters for the Rolling Stones between 1970 and 1974 and also worked for Paul McCartney, The Who, The Stranglers and Dr Feelgood. He works now as a freelance designer in Surrey, UK.
AMFM: When did you begin drawing and sketching, John?
JP: I did a bit of pencil drawing at school but it wasn’t until I started at art college that I really got into drawing and painting. I also got into print-making early on – more lithography and silkscreen than etching.
AMFM: Any artists that influence you?
JP: Main artists that influenced me were Warhol, Man Ray and Magritte.
AMFM: When did you meet with The Rolling Stones to design their logo?
JP: In 1970, I was in my final year at the Royal College of Art when the Stones office rang the college and asked if they could recommend a design student to meet with Jagger to discuss designing a poster for their 1970 European Tour. I was that lucky student. All went well and the band were pleased with the result. In 1971, I met Jagger again when he asked me to design a logo for The Stones.
AMFM: Could you tell us about the designing of the Stones “Goat’s Head Soup” cover?
JP: When I was asked to come up with some ideas for the cover of ‘Goats Head Soup’, I submitted an illustrative idea and also a more literal photographic concept which was the preferred choice. So we set up the dear old goat’s head bubbling away in cauldron and took some shots of it. At a very late stage they decided to use some new photos of the band for the cover and the soup images were used as a folded poster with the album and also for stickers promoting the album’s release.
AMFM: What first attracted you to art and design, John?
JP: I enjoyed sketching at school and infamously got known for drawing caricatures of some of the teachers. Leaving school, I started an art and design course at my local art school in Eastbourne and my interest grew from that. I spent 8 years studying graphic design and loved every minute of it.
AMFM: What is most important in creating a logo, or a design?
JP: When being briefed on a design or logo, it is important to determine who the audience are – the people you wish to attract. Create something that is original and which answers the brief. Within those perimiters, I just have to create something that I really like myself and hope other people feel the same way.
AMFM: How do you go about creating a design that will have longevity, and communicate to the spectator?
It’s difficult to predict the longevity of a design as there are many variables involved but I know within myself if I have created something of interest that could stand the test of time.