A HEAVY metal music fan and graphic designer from Colchester claims he helped produce a world-renowned band’s now legendary and longstanding logo.

Back in 1977 Ray Hollingsworth, 68, of East Hill, worked in an art studio called Crowes, located in London’s prestigious West End.

The complex in which Ray flexed his creative muscles was managed by Dennis Wilcock, who at the time was the lead singer of Iron Maiden.

Although not the rocking juggernaut they are today, the metal band, which have since released 41 albums, were regularly playing gigs in around East London.

As they started to grow in popularity, so did the need for them to acquire a marketable identity and something which would become synonymous with their music.

Chelmsford Weekly News:

“Dennis was the driving force of the band and very influential on the way the band was evolving,” said Ray, who is a Colchester United fan.

“Dennis realised that a logo which could be used on advertising, posters and backdrops would enhance the image of the band.

“So, we put together the Iron Maiden lettering which has stood for the 44 years and has become the most iconic branding in the music industry.

“But I was the first person in the world to see the Iron Maiden logo.”

Since then Ray, who is also a filmmaker and has published his own books, has been interviewed about his involvement with Iron Maiden on numerous occasions.

His partner in crime, Dennis, on the other hand, took his former band to court claiming he deserved writing credits on some of the group’s early material.

Ray, whose memories were piqued by the release of Iron Maiden’s latest album, Senjutsu, hopes he and Dennis can be more widely recognised in the band’s story.

The father and grandfather added: “Iron Maiden are deservedly the number one metal band in the world and they have a fantastic team behind them.

“And I was looking to make a short film in London with founding member Steve Harris and Dennis back in Rathbone Place where the early graphics originated.

“I have done interviews with magazines in Europe and the United States which seem to be accepted as factual regarding the birth of the Maiden lettering.

“This was never about any financial gain for me or Dennis but just to establish part of the story that still remains pretty much untold.”