#3. Def Jam Records
The interlocking “D” and “J” logo was created by Def Jam Records founder Rick Rubin and initially appeared on the self-released EP for his early ’80s rock band Hose. Rubin added the tone arm design to the cover art of T La Rock’s 1984 “It’s Yours” 12” single – and thus an iconic logo was born. Or should we say, “The Logo,” as it’s been famously referred to in the years since (largely by Def Jam employees who’ve pledged their allegiance to it and have been known to go to great lengths to preserve its health and well being). During the label’s ground-breaking ’80s run, nothing symbolized hip-hop’s burgeoning creative and commercial explosion like the Def Jam logo, whether in its early silver-on-maroon incarnation or Golden Era Raiders-like silver on black. It was so cool that Run-DMC were actually occasionally photographed rocking Def Jam jackets back in the day despite the fact that the group recorded for Profile. Back then, to paraphrase Chuck D, Def Jam didn’t just tell you who you were, it told you who and where you wanted to be.