Visual Puzzles & Answers: The Viktor Hertz Rock Pictograms for Beatles, Stones, Dylan and More

Posted on June 21st, 2012 by steve in From The Web, InfoGraphics

While the infographics I often feature on this site intend to make data easier to consume by employing clever visuals, this set of graphics proves that it’s equally fun to use visuals to obscure meaning.

Designer Victor Hertz has created some rock music pictograms that do just that for the songs of David Bowie, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, Iggy Pop, The Beatles, Bruce Springsteen, Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley.  What emerged is a bit of a puzzle — and the “aha” moment of realization of one of the more difficult is extremely satisfying.  Five months in the making, he describes the effort as his “most ambitious, and maybe also the best, personal work I’ve done so far.” You can purchase these as posters or simply make a donation to fund their printing.  I definitely encourage the support of this incredible work.

Additionally, I invite you to join me in trying to decipher the pictograms.  It takes a combination of musical knowledge and “outside-the-box” thinking.  As I publish this for the first time, I believe I have identified 75 of the 234 songs depicted across the eight graphics. I have also confirmed my knowledge of the Beatles (20 songs identified) and come to the realization that I have a huge gap in my music knowledge as it pertains to Iggy Pop (0).

I’m interested in seeing how well The Barn community can do in solving these riddles.  Check the answer page for my attempt at solving (I fully admit, some may be incorrect).  Feel free to correct me or add additional answers in the comments below, on our facebook page or on twitter.  I’ll update this post occasionally with any new solutions that I get from the crowd.

Answer Page

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10 Comments on “Visual Puzzles & Answers: The Viktor Hertz Rock Pictograms for Beatles, Stones, Dylan and More”

  1. Biell

    The baby is “Baby it’s you”, the eye with a person inside is “Tell me what you see”, the van is “Magic mistery tour”, the speech balloons is “Do you want to know a secret” and the female symbol with a crown is “Her magesty”.

  2. Obion

    It’s “I’ll follow the sun” , not “here comes the sun”.

  3. Wmd

    here’s some other for Dylan:
    tv talkin’ song
    got blood in my eyes for you
    down the highway
    moonlight
    thunder on the mountain
    shot of love (btw, that’s a silhouette of a cylinder to a revolver)
    ballad in plain d
    Had A Dream About You, Baby
    father of night
    pressing on
    dead man, dead man
    country pie
    ain’t talkin’
    diamond joe
    two soldiers
    in the summertime

    others that may be wrong:

    Black Crow Blues (bird)
    My Back Pages (paper)
    7 days (calendar)

  4. Erin R

    Disagree with Biell on a few. I think the baby is “Little Child” (because it’s a child and you need a magnifying glass to see it). The speech balloons are most definitely “No Reply” not “Do You Want to Know a Secret.”

  5. Julie

    Hi, here are some answers on Bruce Springsteen:

    The ball with a chain is probably Wrecking Ball, not Shackled and Drawn.
    Others songs missing from your list:
    Walk like a man (little man right below the hungry heart)
    You can look but you better not touch
    Two faces
    Meeting across the river (?)
    I’m going down (?), is right of Candy’s room
    Two hearts
    Tougher than the rest

  6. erickin152

    the shopping cart with the heart is “cant buy me love”
    the guy climbing is “the fool on the hill”
    the black eye with the little person is “i’m looking through you”
    the guy with the arrow and the sun is “i’ll follow the sun”
    the sun with the crown iws “sun king”

  7. cath

    Beatles:
    The bird might also be “And your bird can sing” cause of the musical notes coming out of it. But I think it is, at the same time, Blackbird.
    Btw, what’s that black thing above Maxwell’s Silver Hammer? Can’t figure that out..

  8. whorl

    For the Beatles, the sideways tree is “Norwegian Wood,” the calendar is “Eight Days a Week,” and the one with the couple and the car is “Baby, You Can Drive My Car.”

  9. Caz

    David Bowie (approximately going left to right, top to bottom)
    China Girl
    Love You Till Thursday
    Telling Lies
    Ashes to Ashes/A Small Plot of Land
    ???
    Sorrow
    ???
    Young Americans
    Glass Spider
    The Man Who Sold The World
    Crack City
    Everyone Says Hi
    Lady Stardust
    I Would be your Slave
    Red Money
    Eight Line Poem
    Law (Earthlings on Fire)
    She’ll Drive the Big Car
    Bring me the Disco King
    Ziggy Stardust
    Loving the Alien
    Width of a Circle
    Diamond Dogs
    Cracked Actor (not Rock and Roll Suicide)
    Red Sails
    Starman
    Thursday’s Child
    Suffragette City

  10. Caz

    Oh my bad, didn’t realise Rock and Roll Suicide is the guitar.
    And Law should probably be Baby Universal now that I think about it.

    Also I squinted real hard and read the tiny text. So here’s the cheated list:

    China Girl
    Love You Till Thursday
    Telling Lies
    Please Mr Gravedigger
    We Are Hungry Man
    Looking for Water
    One Shot
    Young Americans
    Glass Spider
    The Man Who Sold The World
    Crack City
    Everyone Says Hi
    Lady Stardust
    Prisoner of Love
    Red Money
    Eight Line Poem
    Baby Universal
    She’ll Drive the Big Car
    Bring me the Disco King
    Rock and Roll Suicide
    Loving the Alien
    Width of a Circle
    Diamond Dogs
    Cracked Actor
    Red Sails
    Starman
    Thursday’s Child
    She’s Got Medals

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