King Features partners with Darren Romanelli for Grateful Dead homage

Paying homage to rock band Grateful Dead following their 50th anniversary, designer Dareen Romanelli has commissioned select artists and brands to reinvent the band’s classic Steal Your Face logo in their own unique way.

Originally created by Grateful Dead soundman and artist Owsley Stanley and rendered by designer Bob Thomas, the logo was first utilized as an identifying mark for the Dead’s equipment and gear.

Entitled Stolen Faces, the series kicks off with Romanelli’s own contribution through his line, DRx. Serving as a visual invitation to the project, his piece features the familiar Steal Your Face skull, but with lightning bolt removed. The result is a blank canvas, a welcoming space for other participants to express their own graphic interpretations.

Next up, is a version of the logo created in commemoration of Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 50 Years Of Grateful Dead, the sold-out shows held this past Fourth of July weekend in Chicago. This reworking, designed by Frank Caruso, King Features Creative VP, fluidly incorporates another iconic graphic image into the traditional logo – that of pop culture hero, Popeye. Placed within the circular embrace of Steal Your Face skull, muscles-flexed, pipe-clenched.

“I wanted to invigorate the modern dialogue around the Dead,” explained Romanelli, a longtime and dedicated fan of the band, “and to push that conversation into a new space. The visual history of the Dead is so linked to the legacy of the band and I wanted to allow artists to explore and pay tribute to that history, in a timeless manner.”

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