When you think of Ozzy Osbourne, what comes to mind? Maybe you think back to his Black Sabbath days, or maybe you think about his short stint as a reality tv personality, or maybe you think back to when he bit a bat live onstage. Whatever does come to mind, there is surely more to Ozzy Osbourne’s story than you already know.
His story has been one that seems like a bit of a mystery, especially given Ozzy’s passion for mystery. But almost 55 years after Ozzy first got his start, he has remained an intriguing public figure to many, and his relevancy is the direct result of his brand – a brand that has always consisted of an iconic, memorable, and interesting logo.
Below we take a deeper dive into what fans refer to as the “Prince of Darkness” and the story about how Ozzy came to be, and how his logo was developed.
Meet Ozzy Osbourne
John Michael Osbourne was born to Lilian and John Osbourne on December 3, 1948, in Birmingham, England. Ozzy is one of six children but having so many siblings did not prevent him from being teased at school. The teasing he endured from elementary school is how John became known as “Ozzy.” As a child, Ozzy struggled with dyslexia and instead of fighting the teasing, he gave into this nickname. This nickname became his stage name years later and the dyslexia that he was teased for is the reason that music became Ozzy’s life. Ozzy left school at the age of 15 and before transitioning to a career in music, he took on a string of low-paying jobs to make ends meet.
Ozzy took on a second nickname “Prince of Darkness” to pay homage to his weird lyrics and stage persona once his music career took off.
Most people associate Ozzy with being married to Sharon Osbourne, but before that, he was married to Thelma Riley in 1972, and together they have three children, Elliot, Jessica, and Louis. Ozzy and Thelma divorced in 1982 and in that same year, Ozzy met and married Sharon Arden. Sharon was the daughter of Ozzy’s manager and together they have three children, Aimee, Kelly, and Jack. Ozzy and Sharon portrayed their family on the MTV show The Osbournes, which premiered in 2002 and ran until 2005.
Ozzy Osbourne’s Evolution
1967-1968: Ozzy gets his start in music
Growing up, Ozzy always was drawn to music, and growing up, he was a huge fan of the Beatles. In 1967, Ozzy formed his first band with Geezer Butler. Ozzy and Geezer only stayed together for two shows before breaking up. In 1968, Ozzy and Geezer teamed up again but this time with Tony Lommi and Bill Ward. The four of them formed the band Polka Tulk Blues, which turned into the band, Earth.
1969: Black Sabbath is born
The band Earth became Black Sabbath in 1969 and Black Sabbath is still known today as being the inventor of heavy metal music. When they chose the name Earth, the group didn’t realize that it was already the name of another musical group so, to avoid confusion, they chose to change their name again. The inspiration behind the name Black Sabbath came from a horror movie by Boris Karloff that was released in 1963. The band leaned into the fact that people like strange and spooky things, so they developed scary music by creating odd sounds alongside their lyrics that felt like a mystery.
1970-1978: Black Sabbath releases their first album (and subsequent albums)
One year after Black Sabbath was born, the band released their first album under Vertigo Records. After this initial album, the group formed a loyal following not only in Great Britain but also in the United States. Some hit songs from this album were “Wizard” and “Evil Woman.” The next year, Black Sabbath released their second studio album, Paranoid, which was as widely acclaimed and saw as much success as their first album. Black Sabbath continued to release albums in the years that followed, and these albums even achieved platinum status in the United States.
1978: Ozzy leaves Black Sabbath
While the band was a rising success, Ozzy left Black Sabbath in 1978. His departure came after the release of Technical Ecstasy and Never Say Die. His departure was the result of the band losing focus after drugs and alcohol became more prominent within the band. The band felt that their issues with these hard substances were the direct result of Ozzy, so Black Sabbath’s crew fired him.
1980-1981: Ozzy releases his first solo album (and second album)
After leaving Black Sabbath, Ozzy did not waste any time starting a solo music career. His solo debut album, Blizzard of Ozz, was released in 1980 with a different label. Ozzy released his second album, Diary of a Madman, the following year much to the praise of his fans. His second album achieved multiple platinum statuses all the while Black Sabbath began to see a decline in their success.
1980: Ozzy’s first version of his logo
After Ozzy’s solo music career took off, Ozzy introduced the world to his logo. While his logo went through some changes throughout the years, the original logo was referred to by fans as “the cutout” logo.
1994: Ozzy wins a Grammy
Ozzy won several awards throughout his musical career but in 1994, Ozzy won his first Grammy for “Best Metal Performance.”
Roadblocks Along the Way
Ozzy has publicly battled drug addiction throughout his career. This has been an ongoing battle for Ozzy since his childhood and as a result, his health and personality have suffered. This has caused Ozzy to be referred to as “Mumbles” since his speech is often seen as being slurred. His slurring was exhibited during episodes of The Osbournes and in 2003 when he was singing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” at Wrigley Field. During this baseball game, Ozzy mumbled the words to the entire song which became the subject of much public mockery in the media.
Beyond his drug addiction, Ozzy also received negative publicity when he left Black Sabbath in 1979. Ozzy didn’t leave on his own though. Black Sabbath fired Ozzy after coke and alcohol became the focus of the band which left them unable to focus on being productive with their music careers. The other members of Black Sabbath felt that Ozzy turned to drugs too much which impacted the band overall, and they felt that because of his addiction, he was a liability to everyone. Because of this firing, Black Sabbath’s studio was forced to re-record Ozzy’s vocals. While Ozzy felt his departure was a relief, it still impacted his career because it was the topic of media and as many celebrities know, you can’t always control what gets reported.
The Meaning of Ozzy Osbourne’s Logo and Ozzy Osbourne’s Logo History
Ozzy’s departure from Black Sabbath meant that Ozzy needed a logo for his solo career. So, from 1980 until now, Ozzy sought out to create a logo that would represent his identity as a solo artist.
Ozzy chose Yaroslaw Prokoptchuk to create his iconic logo and what has made Ozzy’s logo so memorable for all these years is that Yaroslaw designed a simple and eye-catching logo that still captures the attitude that Ozzy exhibits as a rock star. You’ll notice that even with different versions of the logo, every version has been consistent with these elements.
As Yaroslaw was developing Ozzy’s logo for his solo career, he elected to feature Ozzy’s name. The first iteration of the logo omitted the O’s from his name. Yaroslaw instead chose to include the Greek letter “epsilon” (Є) in its place. The second version of the logo featured the inclusion of five parallel lines that cross some of the letters in Ozzy’s name. This version was inducted into the Beauty Hall of Fame. The next version, which is Ozzy’s current logo, still includes the neutral components as the prior versions but instead includes a rectangle. The rectangle’s purpose is to frame the wordmark. While the O’s are present in this version, Yaroslaw elected to still include a line, this time having the line strike through the letters, and he elected to still have it feature the same Greek elements that the past versions featured.
Ozzy Osbourne’s logo font:
The font featured in Ozzy’s logo is one-of-a-kind. His typography is custom, called “Blizzard of Ozz” and it evokes creativity. If you are a fan of this font, you can still find a similar font to use. The “Oklahoma” font is like “Blizzard of Ozz” and it can convey the same elements that Ozzy’s font conveys.
Ozzy Osbourne’s logo color:
Throughout the years, Ozzy’s logo has featured three colors.
A final color used is red. With the logo, instead of choosing red to replace the white, Yaroslaw used the red to intensify the logo to help capture Ozzy’s stage presence. This color helps to convey passion joy, and strength on one side while conveying courage, willpower, and confidence on the other side.
Black is the most prominent color and is the most traditional color Ozzy has used. It fits nicely with his coined nickname “The Prince of Darkness” and it is fitting following his departure from Black Sabbath. The choice of black symbolizes power, authority, and elegance on one side and fear, evil, and death on the other side. On the logo, you’ll notice that it includes a shadow mark with the use of this color and the black also ties into Ozzy’s out-of-the-box attitude.
A second color featured in Ozzy’s logo is white. White is a neutral choice to convey balance to the other colors and conveys cleanliness, purity, and humility as the color of heaven on one side while conveying protection, softness, and perfection on the other side.
Ozzy Osbourne’s logo symbols
Despite Ozzy’s logo being simple, it still features a handful of iconic symbols throughout the years. The first symbol featured is a currency sign (€). Yaroslaw includes the Euro symbol to represent the European Union and European civilization. In the logo, the “O’s” in Ozzy’s name are replaced with the epsilon symbol. However, the epsilon symbol has lines through it not only giving it a decorative touch but also making it resemble the Euro and the history behind the currency. The Euro was a pioneer in currency, and many believe Ozzy was a pioneer for heavy metal music.
A second symbol that is featured is a rectangle, which is seen in Ozzy’s current logo design. Rectangles are commonly used in logo design because they represent stability, honesty, protection, unity, wholeness, and infinity. For the logo, the wordmark sits within the rectangle, with additional lines sitting through some of the letters inside of the frame. This rectangle is symbolic of Ozzy not going anywhere and signifies that his brand is protected due to him being untouchable as a pioneer in heavy metal music.
Ozzy Osbourne Today
While Ozzy may not be actively still releasing music, Ozzy is still relevant and active within the industry. Many still turn to Ozzy’s solo career to listen to how heavy metal came to be and many take an interest in the history behind Ozzy because of this. Ozzy is still active as a visual ambassador for his music craft which is why he is a rock legend.
Lessons Learned from Ozzy Osbourne
As a musician, creating a brand following is important. And how you create a following is through a logo that the world can associate with you and your brand. Ozzy’s logo teaches us all a few things.
The first is that keeping a wordmark simple will go a long way. And just because the wording on a logo is simple, that doesn’t mean it is easy to design. Ozzy’s logo has been respected for its simplicity and clean elements, yet it also shows us exactly what you get with Ozzy Osbourne. Secondly, no matter how simple your logo is, make it aesthetically appealing and attractive because you want your logo to be something that you are proud to be associated with. Next, like Ozzy’s logo, make sure that whatever word you include, that the word is memorable so viewers will never forget your logo and so it will stand out from competitors. Ozzy’s logo conveys a sense of emotion through the word design, and your logo can too. Additionally, Ozzy’s logo shows us the power of a logo when it is legible. One of the easiest ways to lose a consumer is by having a logo that they cannot read. And finally, make sure your logo is versatile and can easily be transitioned between different mediums in all different sizes, just like Ozzy’s logo.
Developing a logo that has a lasting impression is more challenging than many may believe. You don’t have to design a logo on your own for your company though. Hatchwise can help. When you start a logo contest with Hatchwise, you’ll be provided with so many options for you to choose your favorite logo from. To get started with Hatchwise, get in touch with our team today.