Images © Dark Horse Comics, Inc.
Sometimes when working on a logo you’re asked to do something that you can’t make work. That was the case with this assignment from Dark Horse editor Randy Stradley. He wanted the “virus” creatures from his story to appear somehow in the logo. Perhaps he was thinking of the original MAD logo where Harvey Kurtzman filled the centers of the letters with a crowd of crazy people. Unfortunately, I’m not that talented, so I suggested to Randy that I provide him with an open logo like this and perhaps his artist could add some of the creatures.
He must have agreed, and here’s a photocopy of the finished logo, simply a very tight and exact tracing of the sketch. except that I added a little space between the V and I so I could have that corner the same height as the ones to the right of it. I think it has strength and visual impact, and is easy to read even with the joined letters.
Apparently the creatures in the letters didn’t work for the artist either, or the idea was simply not followed, and the logo appeared as I designed it.
Images © DC Comics, Inc.
Here is a tight pencil layout for a one-shot logo I did in 1987. It’s a sword and sorcery fantasy book I think, though I haven’t seen it in decades, and that looks like the direction I was going in this design, perhaps emulating fantasy paperback logos or even epic movie logos. I’m not sure why I thought the shading lines in the deep telescoping behind the letters was a good idea, and the overlap of the L on the O bothers me now. The entire logo seems too tall as well, but logos were often taller then.
I don’t have a copy of the finished logo, but here it is on the cover. I probably hadn’t seen the cover art when I designed the logo. If I had I think I would have made it wider and less tall, and avoided the curve so it could be placed completely in the background and off the woman’s head. It was only used this once time, and perhaps it’s just as well!
Image © DC Comics, Inc.
Here are some sketches I produced for the DC Comics licensing department probably some time in the 1990s. I have no record of being paid for a Riddler logo, so they may well have rejected all of them. The Riddler never seemed to progress beyond the 1960s to me, so perhaps they were looking for something more modern. I kind of like the third one.
Images © Capcom, Inc.
“Resident Evil” is a videogame and multimedia franchise that began in 1996. Above is the logo from the original game. Some time before that, probably 1995, I was contacted about designing a logo for the property. I don’t think it was Capcom, I think it may have been a licenser interested in promoting merchandise, but I don’t recall the details. I did a number of sketches, only two survive:
Looking at them now, I’m sure this was too “comic-booky” for them, especially considering the very conservative type-based logo of the game. I suspect fans might have enjoyed something more along these lines, though.
Images © DC Comics, Inc.
Here’s the logo for The Phantom Stranger by Gaspar Saladino, created for his appearance in 1969 in SHOWCASE. In 1987 DC Comics decided to put out a new mini-series featuring the character, and asked me to do a new logo, but one very close to this version. They liked it, but wanted it tweaked in a few areas.
Here’s a pencil sketch version of what they asked for. The letters are all closer together, and THE overlaps the P of PHANTOM. The internal open areas of PHANTOM are a little wider than on the original, too. A rough outline contains the entire thing. I might have a photocopy of the final logo, but can’t find it at the moment.
Here’s the printed comic. The creator names were added below the logo and included in the rough outline, probably by Bob LeRose or another production staffer. The pencil sketch is what I pulled from my files, in case you wondered!