Aphex Twin Logo

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Aphex Twin LogoAphex Twin Logo PNG

Aphex Twin is the stage name of Richard David James, a British musician known for his unusual work in electronic styles in the 1990s and as a person associated with so-called intelligent dance music.

Meaning and history

James was born in 1971. He started performing at local clubs and free parties in the late 1980s. Originally James performed as a rave DJ but in 1991, he released his debut EP Analogue Bubblebath.

The roots of the Aphex Twin logo can be traced as far back as to 1991. The emblem was hand-drawn by graphic designer Paul Nicholson using circle templates and rulers. The designer drew the inspiration for his work from an etching Aphex Twin scratched onto the back of his travel case. Later, Nicholson explained in an interview that James intended to have a logo that was “amorphic and soft form” and that he did not like sharp lines.

However, some sources tell a slightly different story. They state that Paul Nicholson originally drew the symbol for another client of his, a San Francisco-based skatewear label called Anarchic Adjustment. The label wanted an “alien” vibe emblem, so Nicholson drew a soft “A” as one of the options. Anarchic Adjustment did not choose this version, however.

Richard David James, who studied with Nicholson at Kingston University back then, saw the “A” and wanted Nicholson to draw something similar for his own album covers. Nicholson made quite a few sketches in this style for James.

Aphex Twin Logo

While the logo was drawn in 1991, it made its first official appearance only the following year, on the cover of the album Selected Ambient Works 85-92. It also was prominent on the cover of Ambient Works Vol. II. This was followed by a ten-year hiatus in 1996—2006 when the emblem was not placed on the album covers. It then appeared on the cover of the compilation Chosen Lords and the album Syro.

More recently, James has typically used his Aphex Twin logo to hint at an upcoming activity. For instance, not long before Syro was released in 2014, you could see the logo spray-painted on pavements in New York. Before the release of his album Collapse EP, the logo could be spotted in various places in different corners of the globe.

Understanding the logo

Technically speaking, the emblem represents the letter “A,” which is the initial of the musician’s stage name. And yet, why should we be so boring as to “speak technically” about someone like Aphex Twin? In this case, we should rather regard it as a mysterious abstract symbol.