Remarkable similarity between the band Kaiser Chiefs' album artwork and cycle gear brand Sturmey Archer's logo

Indie rock band Kaiser Chiefs have been accused of plagiarism from an unlikely source – Sturmey Archer, the company famous for its internal gear hubs for bicycles.

But it’s not the sound of the gear hub that the Leeds band have been accused of stealing – it’s the Sturmey Archer logo.

Artwork for the Chiefs’ new album, Education, Education, Education & War is an almost exact copy of packaging from an 110 year old Sturmey Archer gear set. According to Sturmey-Archer Europe NV, the band did not request permission to use the artwork and have ignored contact from the manufacturer.

Sturmey Archer general manager Alan Clark said: “I have worked for the company for more than 40 years and I have never known anything quite as blatant as this. We are used to this sort of thing from backstreet suppliers but did not expect it from such a big band. They did not even contact us up front and they have not responded to questions posed since we were alerted by customers.”

“A customer has suggested that the band should be re-named Kaiser Thiefs* – which might not be grammatically correct but does reflect how we now feel.”

Kaiser Chiefs frontman Ricky Wilson is currently a coach on BBC singing reality talent show The Voice.

* Not to be confused with the UK’s only Kaiser Chiefs tribute band, the Kaiser Thiefs

  • binghammer

    I’ve always thought Sturmey Archer a bit old fashioned. Now it turns our they are a really cool band.

  • Andrew Kennedy

    I predict a riot, or maybe not. Decent bit of self generated PR by the design company.

  • dourscot

    Point of information – surely the Kaiser Chiefs are being accused of trademark infringement, not plagiarism.

    The whole thing sounds like a piece of marketing wrapped up in a complaint.

  • Patrick Crew

    Kaiser Thief… but as below its the agency that should be responsible not the band

  • Álvaro Guimarães

    The title is pertinent. They are responsible for it. Doesn’t matter who did it.

  • I hate articles like this. I doubt it was the actual Kaiser Chief band members who designed the logo, and more likely an (unscrupulous) design agency hired by the band’s label. The label should name and shame said agency, and ask the agency to show their research and development of the logo (sketches, drafts etc), assuming they have any.