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Iron Maiden – Powerslave

Contributed by Matthijs Sluiter on Jan 29th, 2019. Artwork published in .
    Iron Maiden – Powerslave 1
    Source: www.maidenthebeast.com License: All Rights Reserved.

    The artwork for Iron Maiden’s Powerslave album (1984) consists of a monumental Egypt-inspired scene with Eddie as a pharaoh (with a utero?) as conceived and painted by Derek Riggs. Iron Maiden’s successful career would not have been the same without zombie, mascot, and sixth band member Eddie, that Riggs created for them in 1980 based on a stage prop. The artwork seems to be completely unrelated to the lyrics and music.

    Artwork and logo are supported by typography using not Eddie, but Edda Solid, an Art Nouveau typeface originally designed by Heinz Keune and released in Germany by Schelter & Giesecke. It is an all caps design but with a lowercase h. There’s little width contrast between Edda’s letterforms and it comes with alternates for A, E, T. The original design uses the rounder forms for A and E. In the images some of the alternate shapes can be seen on the “Powerslave” flag — which was probably designed later on, after the Powerslave album and the World of Slavery tour.

    Iron Maiden – Powerslave 2
    Source: vinyl-records.nl License: All Rights Reserved.
    back cover
    Source: www.flickr.com License: All Rights Reserved.

    back cover

    Iron Maiden – Powerslave cassette, 1984.
    Source: www.iansvintage.online License: All Rights Reserved.

    Iron Maiden – Powerslave cassette, 1984.

    Iron Maiden Powerslave / World Slavery tour T-shirt, 1984.
    Source: sweetstuffinside.com License: All Rights Reserved.

    Iron Maiden Powerslave / World Slavery tour T-shirt, 1984.

    Iron Maiden – Powerslave 6
    Source: sweetstuffinside.com License: All Rights Reserved.
    Action figure — not from 1984. “Powerslave” uses Edda broken down and staggered, but with same lettershapes as the original artwork.
    Source: news.toyark.com License: All Rights Reserved.

    Action figure — not from 1984. “Powerslave” uses Edda broken down and staggered, but with same lettershapes as the original artwork.

    Powerslave flag (undated), probably 2000s. “Powerslave” still using Edda, but with alternate A and E.
    Source: www.nuclearblast.de License: All Rights Reserved.

    Powerslave flag (undated), probably 2000s. “Powerslave” still using Edda, but with alternate A and E.

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    5 Comments on “Iron Maiden – Powerslave

    1. rkachowski says:
      Jan 29th, 2019 9:41 am

      The artwork seems to be completely unrelated to the lyrics and music.

      The title track “Powerslave” is told from the point of view of an Egyptian Pharaoh, the lyrics explicitly referencing ancient Egypt. There’s also a cool Egyptian guitar riff. And now you know.

    2. Thank you rkachowski, now I know. While listening the album by bits and pieces I heard about napalm, guns, swords, mariners and valleys but somehow completely overheard the title track.

    3. John Downey says:
      May 10th, 2022 7:19 pm

      The typeface used for Iron Maiden is called Busk. It was featured in the catalog called Alphabet Ltd. There was Busk Solid and Busk. There is still not information on who created it. They original design team and the group would probably know more. The design company worked with Iron Maiden to select and style Busk to suit their brand.

    4. Thank you, John. I take it that this info comes from the research conducted by Tobi of Fontastique Faces, yes? I’ve recently been made aware of his findings and asked him for confirmation, as well as a date.

    5. I didn’t know its name was Busk before, but the typeface the Iron Maiden logo is based on was also used for movie posters for The Man Who Fell to Earth starring David Bowie:

      The Man Who Fell to Earth movie poster

      Ray Larabie has more info about the typeface and its usage (though he also didn’t know the name) in the notes for his digital adaptation, Metal Lord.

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