19 January 2012

Review: DC Comic Logo, or Logo Lingo

Comic book fans today have been inundated with a barrage of public relations and advertising lingo upon reveal of the new DC Comics and DC Entertainment logo(s). We're talking the type of "corporate ladder" terminology rarely heard outside team meetings, focus groups, and Jack Donaghy's inner monologue. But there's been little professional mention of the quality or effectiveness of the logo(s) outside of DC's "brand identity" in what Fast Company, the media and design website that broke the news this morning, calls DC's "ongoing corporate and creative initiatives".


Basically, are they any good?

In short, yes.

When Bleeding Cool reported DC's trademark filing last week, we saw a minimalist grayscale peel-back sticker logo and Gotham Bold font (*wink wink, nudge nudge*) that was certainly intriguing but not indicative of a comic book company seeking not only to attract new readers of their own titles, but the entire industry.

The logos released above, though, are varied and individually suited to character and brand. You can practically see the "D" peel back and smoke billow out from the "C" of what I'm assuming is the DC Dark brand, the glow of Green Lantern, or the sparks of... The Flash? Superman? (Details are unclear as of press release.) They also serve as a metaphor for secret identities, which have long been a staple of DC superheroes, almost moreso than its competitors. "The new logo communicates the idea of dual identity," adds Amit Sesai, Senior Vice President of Franchise Management or something at DC, "there's more than meets the eye." They're perfectly suited for digital media. But what about print?

The press release mentions branding spread across "film, television, interactive games and merchandise" but makes no specific mention of print, save for a few mockup designs. Unfortunately, the print logos offer little more than varied colors from the original grayscale. More examples (see below) indicate how the logos could be utilized in print ads while a mockup released by DC confirms the streamlined, color-coded logos will see print beginning this May. Although the simplicity of the logos look inconsistent with the harsh, busy title logos gracing most current titles, the hard edge of the "D" flushed against the comic spine and literal page-flipping motion is brilliant.

Thankfully, the DC Entertainment brand jumped on the grenade of that original greyscale number. Corporate branding can't look too flashy, after all. Still, it's difficult not to feel that print comic readers are being left in the Ice Age of design.

Visit DC Comics The Source for the complete unveiling and more images.

Branded!: David Bowie, Lodger | 30 Rock | Parks & Recreation | The Office | Up All Night


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