The Beatles


The Beatles logo is one of the most universally recognised pieces of lettering, and first appeared on Ringo Starr’s drum kit in 1963. It was designed by Ivor Arbiter, who ran Drum City, London’s first drums-only store, as part of the payment negotiation for Ringo’s new Ludwig drum kit. Arbiter made a rough sketch on a scrap of paper, and was paid £5 for arranging the artwork, which was painted onto the drum head by local signwriter Eddie Stokes. The capital B and dropped T were intended to emphasise the word beat. While there is nothing typographically sophisticated, or even particularly interesting, about The Beatles logo, the power of typography is such that it endures in its ability to evoke memory and emotion. Yesterday marked the fiftieth anniversary of The Beatles’ first arrival in America, and tomorrow marks the fiftieth anniversary of their appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. The typeface has been digitised as ‘Bootle’.

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