The rumored new DC Comics logo is the real deal. As expected, the initial impression of the black and white logo from everyone was I HATE THIS IT IS AWFUL WHY ARE YOU SO AWFUL DC COMICS HATE SPIT BILE.
But today, on the marketing website Fastcocreate.com, DC revealed their true colors, and the thinking behind the change.
“It wasn’t as obvious to the rest of the world as it was to the comic fans that Batman is from DC Comics or Sandman is a Vertigo character,” says John Rood, DC Entertainment’s executive vice president of sales, marketing, and business development. “Now that our audience has exploded beyond just a readership, we needed a way of making a more consistent connection between our properties and their parent brands.”
So you start with this:
But DC says that because of this:
“We didn’t want a static logo, but a living identity that could capture the power of our characters and storytelling,” says Amit Desai, senior vice president of franchise management. “What is special about DC content is the notion of a dual identity. When you think about our DC Comics superheroes, there’s a secret identity. When you think about Vertigo, it’s this notion of good vs. evil in many of the stories. And so, in addition to flexibility, the new logo communicates this idea of dual identity: There’s more than meets the eye. You have to take a closer look to understand the richness of our characters and stories.”
You get something more like this:
Or in terms of, say an iOS app, it might look like this:
And do you know what? I buy it. It works. One of the main criticisms I had about the DC relaunch was that they didn’t do enough to differentiate themselves from the past. Their old logo was an updated version of their older logo. It was for comic book fans who already existed, but wanted to modernize, but not too much. Well, here’s your change. It looks like a modern company, and it’s malleable within their various brands, and I think it works. Will this help them finally capture the fabled new reader? Lord no, but it’s not a bad step.
I also think Alan Moore is going to hate that Watchmen one. But the sun will also continue to rise in the east, and water will stay wet.
UPDATE – 1pm ET
DC Comics has just updated their blog with a statement about the logo and a whoe mess of images. Here are a few:
This one could be the main, sort of all-purpose DC Comics logo:
A group shot of colored logo without the character specific art elements:
The new logo in context on single issue covers:
On a trade:
Some character specific plain color logos:
A character embedded in the logo itself:
Increased DC brand visibility:
Ali Colluccio is back with some thoughts:
Thursday we got to see quite a few samples of the new DC logo in possible executions. And love it or hate it, come March this is very much the new face of DC Entertainment.
The logo itself is turning out to be much more versatile than I was expecting. The majority of the character-based and color versions we’ve seen so far have worked quite well. It very clearly states “find out what’s inside”. It’s active. And when it’s well-executed I totally buy it. Personally, I really like how the cover treatment of the logo looks and how it starts at the fold instead of free-floating. And those “wallpapers” with the characters behind them look really sharp.
It is, however, a tricky devise. I think future variations created by competent graphic designers, will work quite well. But it also has potential to be trite and tacky if it’s not handled just right. I’m particularly nervous about how the animation of this logo will work.
What I think is most interesting–and very smart–is we’re starting to finally see a brand identity for DC Entertainment. There’s clear messaging that DC Comics, Vertigo, and Mad are all under the DC Entertainment umbrella, with the hope that there’s something for everyone to enjoy. I think this is something DC as an organization will be driving home over the next few months. The use of “new identity” in their messaging to describe the rebrand is a clever play on the secret identities of their characters; although, I think it could get a bit old if used too much.
Regardless of how you think these elements look, DC and Landor Associates (the branding agency behind this new identity) have created a strong brand strategy here. This isn’t warm-up pants and tshirts, DC has put a lot of effort and money into this new image. I really think they’ll come out looking like a legitimate, viable media company. Truth be told, they’ll need to make sure the quality of their content stays up to snuff through all this. But I think this is a great step forward for DC in the broader market, and hopefully for comics as a whole.