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Died On This Date (June 15, 2011) Bill Johnson / Grammy Winning Art Director; Designed Rolling Stone Mag Logo

Posted by themusicsover on June 15, 2011

Bill Johnson
DOB Unknown – June 15, 2011

Bill Johnson was a longtime art director who helped shape the image of country music packaging during the ’80s and ’90s.  He spent the better part of two decades working at CBS Records where he created artwork for such albums as Willie Nelson’s Somewhere Over The Rainbow, Rodney Crowell’s Diamonds & Dirt, the Dixie Chicks’ Wide Open Spaces, Roseanne Cash’s King’s Record Shop, and the O’Kanes’ Tired Of The Runnin’.  The Cash and O’Kanes packages each earned him Grammys.    Bill Johnson was 68 when he died of lung cancer on June 15, 2011.



4 Responses to “Died On This Date (June 15, 2011) Bill Johnson / Grammy Winning Art Director; Designed Rolling Stone Mag Logo”

  1. Henk de Bruin said

    First thank you for your very accurate listings of deceased artists! Very much appreciated.
    Looking for more info on the Rolling Stone logo I cam across this site: http://www.typedesign.com/index.html where the RS logo is claimed by Jim Parkinson of Parkinson Type Design, Oakland, California. Who is right?

  2. Roger Black said

    I'm not sure where the rumor started about the Rolling Stone logo. Bill Johnson was a well-liked member of the art department in San Francisco. He started in the paste-up department and moved up to Assistant Art Director, which was the third level of designers, back in the day when magazines had big art departments.

    He got to meet with the great Virginia Team, who had been art director of CBS Records in Los Angeles (working for John Berg, the chief art director of the label). She came to SF to help start Outside magazine, which was launched by Rolling Stone. It was Virginia, when she took over the art department at CBS in Nashville, who asked Bill to come out and design record jackets there.

    I was the art director of Rolling Stone who hired BIll. And while he was in the office, I don't think he had anything to do with the logo project. That was done by Jim Parkinson, who also did the later version posted above. You can see the original logo here.

    Jim and I also produced the Ringling Brothers logo, also in 1977.

  3. Roger Black said

    I'm not sure where the rumor started about the Rolling Stone logo. Bill Johnson was a well-liked member of the art department in San Francisco. He started in the paste-up department and moved up to Assistant Art Director, which was the third level of designers, back in the day when magazines had big art departments.

    He got to meet with the great Virginia Team, who had been art director of CBS Records in Los Angeles (working for John Berg, the chief art director of the label). She came to SF to help start Outside magazine, which was launched by Rolling Stone. It was Virginia, when she took over the art department at CBS in Nashville, who asked Bill to come out and design record jackets there.

    I was the art director of Rolling Stone who hired BIll. And while he was in the office, I don't think he had anything to do with the logo project. That was done by Jim Parkinson, who also did the later version posted above. You can see the original logo here.

    Jim and I also produced the Ringling Brothers logo, also in 1977.

  4. Tom Egly said

    Thanks for setting the record straight.

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