The Peavy Logo

In some circles, the Peavey logo has a bit of an uncouth reputation (like the brand itself, it is controversial), but I think their logo is perfect for what it represents.

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Peavey is best known for making cheap but durable rock amplifiers with buzzsaw overdrive. Their logo is jagged, it screams “rock ‘n roll” (I think there’s even a subconscious R n R in here, and I love how the A and V play off each other). On the one hand, it looks like it was chiseled from a rock. On the other, you can almost feel the electric energy. Peavey was founded in Mississippi in 1964 by Hartley Peavey, an aspiring rock musician. He wanted an electric guitar but his dad wouldn’t let him, so he built his own. The logo first appeared as a doodle in Peavey’s grade school notebook. When I see this logo, I think of when I was in grade school and just wanted to rock but my parents wouldn’t let me etc.

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In the early 1990s, Peavey changed their logo to appease Eddie Van Halen. They made an amp for him, the 5150, but he wouldn’t stand for the original “lightning” logo, said it didn’t fit his style and he didn’t want it on his Peavey amp. Meanwhile, he was playing a guitar that looked like this..

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…but whatever.

So to appease EVH, Peavey changed their logo to the Delta logo in the early 90s. The letter A and V still play off each other, but the A is a triangle (delta) shape, perhaps a reference to “change” as in changing their logo, or “delta” like the company’s origins in the MIssissippi Delta.

 

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In the early 2000s, they switched back to the original Peavey logo, confined to an oval.

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I definitely like the original logo better. But some preferred the Delta logo. Others dislike both of them. It’s controversial. I know this from researching the Peavey logo controversy online where I found that the “Talk Bass Forum” recently held an unofficial Peavey Logo Redesign Contest. In my opinion none of them come close to the original Peavey logo.

In an era when anybody can access a world of readymade typefaces and make things look spiffy in Illustrator and Photoshop, I think the Peavy logo stands out more than ever. Sure, it’s a little busy and maybe hard to read, but nowhere near as bad as these black metal logos.

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