A brief introduction to punk badges

Sex Pistols Badges by Michael Anyon licensed under CC BY-SA
Sex Pistols Badges by Michael Anyon licensed under CC BY-SA


Here is Michael Anyon’s collection of Sex Pistols badges which he has uploaded to the People’s History of Pop.

Pinstand (formerly known as Better Badges) made the first ever Sex Pistols badge which they sold on a stall at the Roundhouse, London in 1976. The stall became a fixture at the venue and the company went on to produce badges for bands including the Clash, Damned, U2, Police and Joy Division. You can view some of the original badges here.

Better Badges founder Joly Macfie and his business partner set up a factory in Ladbroke Grove where they continued to produce badges which were distributed worldwide. They branched into printing fanzines including Jamming and Panache and what would eventually become the British street-style bible i-D, as well as producing promotional material for independent labels like Rough Trade.

In an interview with The Face, Joly Macfie makes an interesting observation.

“It was easier to sell an IT badge then a copy of the magazine itself. There is an argument that people are not interested in the information itself, only being seen to apparently have the knowledge”  Joly Macfie. Source: The Face.

Have you held on to your favourite band badges? What do they mean to you? Upload your badges, memorabilia and stories at PHOP.CO.UK