What Does Aphex Twin’s Logo Mean?

Aphex Twin have broken out from their previously niche market, becoming an entrance point into experimental electronic music for many. Arguably, part of that appeal comes from their elusive brand identity, marked by the signature logo.

The meaning of the design has been constantly theorised, from a lambda to a secret meaning in the angles. However, it was actually “just a letter A” as designer Paul Nicholson stated in a Reddit AMA.

The original client for the ‘A’ was US skate brand Anarchic Adjustment. Luck would have it that fellow Kingston university Richard D. James came across the design before it was presented, and asked Nicholson to use the abstract letterform for his music project - Aphex Twin.

The logo was refined by hand using “circle templates, french curves and rulers”, focusing on James’ aim of having something “amorphic” without sharp edges. Nicholson also created the type face, and the design “didn’t need any revisions or changes… what you see now was [the] first and only design.”

When Aphex Twin had its first gig, Richard invited Nicholson to dance on stage, bringing the “spasmodic jerks” he expressed in clubs to huge crowds throughout the 90s. You can spot Nicholson in recordings on YouTube like ‘Osmoze Paris 1993.’

The now-iconic logo first came into use in ‘Selected Ambient Works 85-92’, and has since been used (excluding a gap from the late 90s to 2006) across their material.

One of the logo’s best-known uses came in the cover for Selected Ambient Works Volume 2. The process for the image was simple - Richard had scratched the logo with a compass into a leather case, which was photographed.

The logo has since found itself in every medium imaginable, from furniture to tattoos. Richard has also used the logo in street marketing campaigns used to tease projects, from the spray-painted logos in New York teasing ‘Syro’ to the hidden optical illusion works worldwide ahead of ‘Collapse’.

All images APHEX TWIN.