Saturday, January 14, 2012

DC? More like WTF?

This week DC Comics (the Superman guys) unveiled their brand new logo to the world. And here it is:

Wow. Would you look at that. That certainly is a logo all right. Definitely not a good logo by any means, but it is a logo.

I assume that this logo is supposed to invoke a (comic book) page being turned? If that was the designer's intention then they failed. Miserably. I see it as something being peeled away. In fact this might be a good first attempt if DC was a factory that made adhesive labels or Post-It Notes.

Also, I get that there's supposed to be a letter C under there, but I'm having trouble making out a letter D. Too much of it is folded over to read properly as a D.

The type at the bottom is bland, perfunctory and uninspired. It very definitely looks like an afterthought, slapped under the logo by the design team at a red light as they drove to the production meeting. Bland as it is though, it's undeniably necessary. If it wasn't there, would you have any idea that this was a logo for any kind of publishing company?

Comic books are action packed and fun. A comic company's logo should reflect that. Where's the energy? The dynamics? I've seen insurance company logos with more pizazz.

If I'm being extra harsh on this new logo, it's only because it was not only unnecessary, but patently inferior to what's gone before.

This is the DC bullet logo, designed by famed graphic designer Milton Glaser in 1976. It's simple, dynamic and has a classic and timeless look. In my opinion it was absolutely perfect for a comic book company. I love this logo and wish they'd bring it back.

This is the Swoosh logo DC has been using since 2005. I don't like it as much as the bullet logo, but it has a certain charm. It's got energy and motion and a dynamic quality.

When viewed side by side, the "meh" quality of the new logo becomes even more apparent. Which of these logos draws your eye first? Certainly not the last one. DC needs to stop letting their president's nephew design their logos and give Milton Glaser another call.

There was a time when big corporations kept the same logo design for decades. Those logos were instantly recognizable the world over. That's the purpose of a logo after all: corporate recognition. We need to go back to that time.

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