Queen originally began in 1968 under the name Smile, integrated by Brian May, Tim Staffell and Roger Taylor. Following the departure of Staffell, Smile was effectively disbanded in 1970.
In 1970, Smile changed their name to Queen when Farrokh Bulsara (later known as Freddie Mercury) joined the band. The band didn't use a logo during this period.
Having attended art college, Freddie Mercury designed the logo, called the 'Queen crest', shortly before the release of the band's first album in 1973.
The logo combines the zodiac signs of all four members:
- Two lions for Leo (John Deacon and Roger Taylor)
- A crab for Cancer (Brian May)
- And two fairies for Virgo (Freddie Mercury)
There is also a crown inside the Q, and the whole logo is contained by a huge phoenix. The symbol resembles the Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom, particularly with the lions.
This logo can be seen in the cover of the band's first two albums (wordmark in the front-side and the crest in the back-side) On Sheer Heart Attack (1974) the crest is placed on the inner sleeve.
When "A Night at the Opera" was released in 1975, the crest was redesigned to be more detailed and the wordmark was also changed. This logo has been used officially by the band since then and it will remain unchanged.