The DC Logo: Rebirth And A Brief History

DC's New Logo
DC’s New Logo Announcement

 

As an additional measure to break away from the New 52, DC Comics announced on Twitter that they are changing their DC Logo, as seen above!  The announcement came with a flurry of fury and confusion at the change and the design itself. It has, so far, been met with rather mixed reviews.

The new logo will debut with May 25th’s ‘DC Universe: Rebirth Special #1’ by Geoff Johns.  In response to this, Geoff Johns said;  “I’m very proud that REBIRTH will be the first comic book published with the new DC logo.” and later; “To me, REBIRTH and the new DC logo are built on what’s come before while looking to what will come tomorrow.  I can’t wait for people to see it on the cover.”

Jim Lee and Geoff Johns
Jim Lee and Geoff Johns

On Instagram, Jim Lee spoke briefly about the logo design and how the Trinity – that is Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman – influenced the design. He wrote; “The nooks and angles are meant to evoke the Superman “S”, the Wonder Woman “WW” emblem and the Bat logo #dccomics #newmark

DC Comics worked with an independent design firm called Pentagram to come up with their new logo design.   The want to, as is thematic with their Rebirth relaunch, reconnect with their long, rich history and the legacy of their company and their characters. They wanted to create a logo that would be a tribute to that history and all of the characters and stories and creators that came with it.

The current logo design, a sticker peeling image, debuted in 2012 with the launch of the New 52 lineup of books and new and updated characters.  With that came a lot of pushing aside of that history and legacy that they are now attempt to return to with Rebirth.

With that legacy and history, there have been a few changes at DC.  The letters themselves stand for “Detective Comics”.  Over the years, there have been a few evolutions of the DC Comics logo design itself so let’s take a look at them here:

 

DC Logos

The initial design appeared in 1940 on a book with that same title, Detective Comics. It was updated a year later to acknowledge that Superman was part of the DC Comics roster.  Towards the end of the 1940s, DC again updated it to include their official publishing name on the logo and this was also the first time that it appeared in the top-left corner box of the comic book covers.  This has since become the standard location for company logos on their comic book covers.

The logo from the 1970s marks on of the very few times that the company went away from the fully rounded design and even toyed with including a character image in the design.  They tested this again briefly in the 1980s with this design:

DC Test Logo
DC Test Logo

This logo only appeared briefly in 1987.  In fact, it only found its way on to two comic books, both variants of the newsstand variety. The two books are Justice League # 3 and The Fury of Firestorm #61.  The Direct Edition versions of these two books carried the standard DC logo of the time, the rounded DC logo with 4 stars. That logo, the 4-star design came from then-DC Publisher Jenette Kahn when she commissioned a graphic designer named to make the iconic design.

 

2005 brought us the DC spin, the design of a star circling the DC lettering.  The first book to carry this lettering was DC Special: The Return of Donna Troy #1.  This then brought us to 2012, New 52 and the current lettering.

I like the new logo. It is consistent with their design history and it does most closely resemble the 1972 design. It is simple and easily recognizable and draws out thoughts of days and eras past – exactly what DC wanted.

 

As a bonus, here are fifty designs that Rian Hughes submitted to DC Comics. These were unsolicited and sent in quite on his own. Rian has done a lot but is well known for his designs and comic book-related designs such as these:

Rian Hughes Logo Designs
Rian Hughes Logo Designs

 

 

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Comments (1)

cool piece. i love dc lore almost as much as i love their characters and universe(s). great read!

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