Nirvana Logo

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Nirvana LogoNirvana Logo PNG

The idea of the Nirvana logo is said to belong to Kurt Cobain himself. However, Lisa Orth mentioned, that as the Art Director for Sub Pop records she created Nirvana’s first records and their logo.

Meaning and history

Nirvana Logo history

The “Smiley Face” logo was unveiled in 1991. It appeared on the flyer for the launch party for Nirvana’s Nevermind album. The same year, it appeared on the front of a Nirvana tee shirt. From that time on, the emblem, together with the wordmark, has been used as the band’s only symbol.

Symbol description

Nirvana symbol

The band’s symbol consists of two elements: a smiley face and the wordmark. The face is instantly recognizable by its “crossed-out” eyes and drooling mouth. Also, there’s the name of the band above the smiley. The letters and the picture are given in yellow against the black background.


Nirvana Emblem

No one knows for sure what the meaning behind the Nirvana logo is. Here are some of the most popular explanations:

  1. “Smiley” depicts the expression that Nirvana fans had on their faces during performances.
  2. Cobain used the emblem of The Lusty Lady strip club that was rather popular at his time. The club was located in Seattle, just 100 miles away from his hometown.
  3. The emblem could have been inspired by the smile on the face of Axl Rose from the Guns N’ Roses band.
  4. Some sources mention the “The Acid House” emblem as the source of the Nirvana logo.
  5. According to some people, the symbol just depicts a person who has drunk too much or has taken drugs.
  6. The same picture was drawn under the bridge Cobain slept under.


Font Nirvana Logo

The name of the type used for the wordmark is Onyx. There is an interesting story behind it, including two participants: Lisa Orth, who designed the band’s logo, and Grant Alden, who used to be Art Director of the label that released Nirvana’s debut album. Orth is said to have paid Alden to use the type programmed into his typesetter at that very moment, and that turned out to be the Onyx typeface.

Nirvana logo


Color Nirvana Logo

The Nirvana logo utilizes a simple, yet catchy color scheme, consisting of two colors: yellow and black. Being put side by side, they create a very energetic contrast.