Pink Floyd is a progressive rock band from London, England. The band achieved worldwide success in the late 1960s and 1970s with their groundbreaking concept albums, such as Dark Side of the Moon (1973), Wish You Were Here (1975) and The Wall (1979). Until bassist and frontman Roger Waters left in 1985, leaving vocalist and guitarist David Gilmour as the figurehead of the band, the band never had an official logo and often merely used the iconography and typefaces used on their latest album at the time.
1967-1972: The Early YearsIn their early singles and albums, the band simply embedded the name "Pink Floyd" in a way that would fit on the cover. The first instance of this can be seen on the cover for their second single, "See Emily Play," with the band's name placed on the side of a train, drawn by the band's original frontman Syd Barrett.
This then continued with their first four studio albums, Piper at the Gates of Dawn (1967), Saucerful of Secrets (1968), More (1969) and Ummagumma (1969), with the band's name being placed on the album's cover, rather than a defined logo or symbol. Notably, the band's typeface on Saucerful of Secrets was adopted as the main logo for Pink Floyd's subreddit.
1973-1978: The Dark Side Era1973 marked a turning point for the band and their identity with the release of The Dark Side of the Moon, which famously stayed in the Billboard 100 from its release in 1973 until 1988 and went on to become one of the best selling albums in history. The album's cover, featuring light being refracted on a triangular prism, became synonymous with the album and Pink Floyd themselves. The album cover and its prism are still used to represent the band.
For the next few years, the band were unable to replicate the success of The Dark Side of the Moon, with Wish You Were Here (1975) only selling half as many copies as their previous album and Animals (1977) selling only half of that. Though having iconography that would become synonymous with Pink Floyd, like the burning man from Wish You Were Here and the flying pig from Animals, they could not rival the iconic imagery of The Dark Side of the Moon.
1979-1985: The Waters EraIn November 1979, the band released their second most successful, The Wall.
The cover for The Wall was the first cover since Piper at the Gates of Dawn (1967) to not be designed by Hipgnosis and contains the text "Pink Floyd The Wall" in the handwriting of Gerald Scarfe, who also designed many of the animations and puppets used in the live tour and the film. The band's name on the cover would end up becoming the de-facto logo for the band due to its unique typefacing. The typefacing was redrawn in the album's movie adaptation,Pink Floyd - The Wall (1982). The typefacing is often paired with prism from The Dark Side of the Moon in unofficial and fan-made material. The logo on The Wall has become so recognisable as Pink Floyd's unofficial logo, a typeface was created, called "Floydian " to emulate it.
1985-2011: The Gilmour EraAfter the departure of founding member and bassist Roger Waters in 1985, vocalist and guitarist David Gilmour was left to lead the band. During this period, Pink Floyd began using official logos for the band itself. The first of which was an upper case letter P with an upside-down lower case letter F. This logo would be used on and along with the band's thirteenth album, A Momentary Lapse of Reason (1987) and its following tours. The band would continue to use this logo on official merchandising and promotional material until 1994, with the release of The Division Bell.
With the release of The Division Bell, Pink Floyd started using a logo known as "The Boatman." This logo contains the letter P and contains the letter F if turned upside-down. It's also speculated that hidden within the P and F could be a D and a G (David Gilmour's initials). This logo is still used in the group's official merchandising and Facebook group.
2011-Present: Re-Releases and The Endless RiverIn 2011, the Why Pink Floyd...? campaign was launched with all 14 albums released at the time receiving remasterings. Vinyl copies of every album were released, featuring a sticker with the band's name in the font used on Animals (1977).
After 20 years of not releasing a studio album, Pink Floyd released The Endless River as a tribute to the band's keyboardist Richard Wright who died a few years earlier. The album cover for the new album very closely resembles The Boatman, with a man on a Thames skiff sailing across a river of clouds.
Outside of the this, the band often uses a rainbow with an electrocardiogram heartbeat inside it, with the band's name above it in Rockwell font. This is reminiscent of much of the marketing used around the time of and the release of The Dark Side of the Moon. This is most likely done out of recognition. Pink Floyd's association with monochrome colours combined with the rainbow, including the famous prism, are more widely known than The Boatman.