Sex Pistols Artwork
Innovators not only in music, the Sex Pistols are responsible for some of the most striking artwork in modern popular culture.
The band have always been closely involved with overseeing and producing their own artwork. And have a long history of collaborating with talented graphic designers and photographers.
On this page we highlight some of the best Sex Pistols artwork. Further Pistols artwork – including some variations on below – can be found via our Artwork & Memorabilia and Press Archive & Ads Picture Galleries…
Anarchy in the UK (1976)
This distressed Union Jack Flag image appeared on promotional posters and adverts for the Pistols debut single on EMI Records in November 1976, but did not actually appear on the 7″ single sleeve. The single was originally issued in a plain black sleeve.The screenprint is taken from a colour photograph of a torn Union Flag held together with safety pins. Sex Pistols Anarchy in the UK is attached by Bulldog stationery clips. This was first Pistols design to use a Union Jack flag.
God Save The Queen (1977)
The original image of Queen Elizabeth II is an official 1977 Silver Jubilee portrait by Royal photographer Peter Grugeon. Several variations of Sex Pistols God Save The Queen artwork exist, most notably the following:
Black on white Queen with a safety pin through her mouth (not nose) incorporating the Sex Pistols logo and John Rotten’s lyric ‘She Aint No Human Being’. As originally featured on promotional stickers, and badges for the single’s release on Virgin Records in May 1977.
The torn God Save The Queen face was also used in blue and silver on the 7″ single sleeve (the official colours of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee).
Pretty Vacant (1977)
Sex Pistols ‘Nowhere’ and ‘Boredom’ bus artwork. This classic black on white design originally featured on Virgin Records promotional posters for the Pretty Vacant single in July 1977. A white on black version of the buses is used on the rear sleeve of the single. The front features a smashed picture frame.
Holidays in the Sun (1977)
Original artwork for the band’s fourth single released in October 1977 by Virgin Records. As originally featured on the single sleeve, plus promotional posters. The artwork was largely based on a real Belgian tourist brochure; doctored to include song title and lyrics. The travel company later sued the Pistols resulting in a court case.
Never Mind the Bollocks Here’s The Sex Pistols (1977)
The classic Never Mind the Bollocks artwork as originally featured on the UK sleeve of the legendary album released in October 1977 by Virgin Records. The clean and simple pink on yellow screenprinted sleeve – incorporating the Sex Pistols cut-out block logo – became the punk cliche for designers to copy to this day.
Original posters for the album featured a slightly different Sex Pistols logo split into two. Green on pink artwork appeared on the US version of the album. The title landed the band in court on the Indecent Advertising Act. The Pistols were found “reluctantly” not guilty after it was proved “Bollocks” was not obscene.
The Filth and The Fury (2000)
Original artwork for The Filth and The Fury film released in January 2000 via FilmFour and Fine Line Films. The design was featured on UK and US cinema posters, plus promotional material. As well as DVD and CD sleeves. ‘Pist’ – is taken from the rare original Sex Pistols logo first used on an obscure flyer for a cancelled gig at Screen on the Green, May 1976. John Rotten’s eyeball is added to dot the i.
Sex Pistols Box Set (2002)
An antique Union Jack souvenir flag overlaid with the original 1976 Sex Pistols logo (see above) and stamped ‘Best Of British’. As featured on the hardback book style 3 CD Sex Pistols Box Set released by Virgin Records in June 2002. The lavish full-colour 80 page book also featured rare and unseen Pistols artwork and photographs.
Combine Harvester Tour (2008)
Tongue-in-cheek update of 1977 Pretty Vacant artwork – with the ‘Nowhere’ and ‘Boredom’ buses swapped for Combine Harvesters – to represent the Sex Pistols 2008 Summer Tour. The summer theme was continued with green on yellow artwork. As featured on T-shirts, plus the stage backdrop (minus ‘Reap The Hay While The Sun Shines’).
There’ll Always Be An England (2008)
Original artwork for There’ll Always Be An England DVD released June 2008 via Fremantle. Includes gig photography from Brixton 2007 along with a 2008 update of the classic Sex Pistols logo featuring olde English style typeface. The artwork was featured on the DVD sleeve, plus promotional material such as posters and adverts.