(Est. 1967) “Rolling Stone is an American monthly magazine that focuses on popular culture. It was founded in San Francisco in 1967 by Jann Wenner, who is still the magazine’s publisher, and the music critic Ralph J. Gleason. It was first known for its musical coverage and for political reporting by Hunter S. Thompson. In the 1990s, the magazine shifted focus to a younger readership interested in youth-oriented television shows, film actors, and popular music. In recent years, it has resumed its traditional mix of content.” (Wikipedia)
Logo: Jim Parkinson (Oakland, CA)
Art Direction and Magazine design: In-house
Welcome to the new Rolling Stone. As of today, we’ve given both our magazine and our website complete makeovers. Starting with our current issue, featuring Cardi B and Offset on the cover, the magazine appears in a big, bold, glossy format, with more pages and richer photography. Each issue will feature more new music, more political coverage, more of the best and brightest in pop culture. Our logo has also undergone a subtle but significant update […].
Images (opinion after)
The original version drawn by Jim Parkinson has always been one of my favorite pieces of lettering and the evolutions of that version have been very well executed as well. This is the first time in decades that the logo will not have its hard shadow, which is as much part of the brand as are the letterforms. This new take — drawn by Parkinson as well — manages to keep the equity and shed both visual weight and nostalgic baggage, allowing the publication to move forward in a more streamlined way. The changes to the letterforms are minimal but good. The resulting logo carries the tradition of the publication but delivers it in a 2015-and-beyond, flat design that makes more sense for today’s visual landscape. Let’s be happy that this didn’t become a geometric sans or another Medium-esque bold serif. The monogram is a little odd but I guess it solves the problem of how to fit that long logo into a circle. The logo looks great on the cover… at least on the first one with the new logo, where it’s red on white — the most recent cover where the logo has a drop shadow defeats the purpose. The rest of the type on the cover feels as if it’s undecided whether it wants to be minimal and quiet or more expressive and, ultimately, feels like it's easy to ignore. Overall, I think the logo is the right evolution at the right time.
Thanks to Dmitri Vietze for the tip.