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Judas Priest logo and album cover designer Roslaw Szaybo dies aged 85

Judas Priest 'British Steel'

Judas Priest have led the tributes to their logo album cover designer Roslaw Szaybo, who has died aged 85.

Born in Poznań, Poland in 1933, Szaybo worked as the chief artistic director at CBS Records from 1972 to 1988 where he created more than 2,000 albums covers.

The vast majority of his sleeves were for classical releases, however he also created seminal artwork for a diverse array of artists including Elton John, Roy Orbison, Santana, Janis Joplin, The Clash, Mott the Hoople and John Williams.

Alongside creating Judas Priest’s iconic logo, he designed five album covers for the heavy metal band from 1977’s ‘Sin After Sin’ through to 1981’s ‘Point Of Entry’.

Judas Priest 'Hell Bent For Leather'

Arguably his most recognisable cover was for Judas Priest’s ‘British Steel’ in 1980, which he created alongside photographer Bob Elsdale.

It was Szaybo's own hand on the cover clutching the oversized razorblade emblazoned with the Judas Priest logo and the album title.

Elsdale told Revolver Magazine in 2010:  "We made an oversized razorblade by having the album title and the Priest logo screen-printed on a cut-out piece of aluminium. There was no Photoshop in those days, so everything was shot for real.

“A lot of people looked at it and were really quite horrified. The edges of the blade seemed to be cutting into Rosław's flesh, because he was really gripping it quite hard. But that wasn't the case—it actually had blunt edges. It wasn't bloody, but it had an element of drama.”

Taking to Twitter to pay tribute to Szaybo, Judas Priest wrote: “Our memories of Roslaw Szaybo are strong and he will always be remembered for his now legendary covers he created for Judas Priest as well as the Priest logo - our thoughts and condolences are with his family - love to Ros.”

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