Category Archives: Logo Studies

Pulled From My Files #43: TWO-FACE


Images © DC Comics.

I have no records on these logo sketches, but they are done with markers over pencils, so probably from the early 1990s, and most likely for the DC Comics licensing department. Villains are hard to market, but the character of District Attorney Harvey Dent, one side of his face ruined by thrown acid, has been around since 1942 and appeared in movies, animation and TV. His trademark two-sided coin (heads on both sides, one side heavily scratched to represent the character’s evil side) was probably suggested as a theme or element to use. I think the sketch above captures the dichotomy well.


This version does not captured the two sides of the character as well, and the coins as suggested would be hard to see.

Two-FaceKlein3My third idea is probably too ambitious and is both hard to read and hard to understand: why is the name there twice? people might say. The coin is probably an image provided by DC.

I don’t think this went any further on my part. Perhaps they gave me a kill fee and someone else did the version used. Or possibly DC decided not to pursue the project. I don’t see any character licensing use online, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t prepared. There is a 1996 one-shot comic with a Two-Face logo, but by then, if it was something I was asked to submit designs for, I would have done them on my computer. I can’t fault DC for not going with these ideas, none of them are very good, in my opinion.

Pulled From My Files #42: WEB OF SPIDER-MAN


Images © Marvel.

Some time in 1984 I was contacted by Marvel editor Eric Fein and asked to submit logo design sketches for a new title, WEB OF SPIDER-MAN. This is the first of four sketches I did using markers on typing paper. It uses the webbing from a decades-old AMAZING SPIDER-MAN logo and a similar shape, but with different letter forms.


Sketch 2 is in straight lines with another style. This would have taken the least amount of space on the cover of the sketches I did.


Sketch 3 is very tall and would have taken up a lot of cover space. The style is based on the pointy Spider-Man logo revision I had recently done, which was in turn based on my Sabretooth logo for Marvel. This one is hard to read and the least successful, I think.

WebSpiderman4Sketch 4 is another straight-line design that’s also pretty tall. Not so easy to read, but I think it would have been easier in color. I like this version of WEB OF the best, and probably should have done the whole sketch like that.

WebSpidermanWhen the first issue came out it featured a logo by someone else, probably Jim Novak. I was not asked to do more work beyond my four sketches, and was probably paid a kill fee, usually about a third of a finished logo rate. So it goes sometimes.

Pulled From My Files #40: 2099 A.D.

2099AD_General.Images © Marvel.

Some time in 1994 I was contacted by editor Joey Cavalieri, then at Marvel editing the growing 2099 line of possible futures for Marvel characters. I had worked with Joey at DC Comics, so knew him well. Joey asked me to design a new version of the 2099 logo with the addition of A.D. (After Doom) for a crossover event he was planning. This was the general version to be used wherever it would work. All these logos were drawn by hand, and I made a second version “B” of each with the area around 2099 filled black. Version “A” left it open for color. I based my design on the existing logos, which I believe were all designed by Ken Lopez (not sure about all of them). My idea was for A.D. to suggest the metal plates on Doctor Doom’s mask. I gave it bevels for added depth. Joey was happy with this idea, and asked me to also do a few specific versions to better fit existing logos.

2099AD_Spiderman.This one was curved to match the SPIDER-MAN 2099 logo. The event ran for about 6 issues I think, here’s one:

SpiderMan2099_38_12-95The the 2099 A.D. didn’t really mesh that well with the logo, but at least it was curved to fit.

2099AD_XMenThis version went with X-MEN 2099, adding telescoping…

2099AD_Hulk…and this one with HULK 2099, a different perspective version and rough outline. I think that’s all the versions I did. It’s all I find in my files, at least. In 1995 I designed two cover logos for Joey using this concept: 2099 A.D. GENESIS and 2099 A.D. APOCALYPSE. Those were done on computer rather than hand-drawn.

Alex Jay on Joe Shuster and the Superman Logo

1934 Buck Rogers Disintegrator Pistol Replica 02Image from the box cover for a 1934 Buck Rogers toy gun.

Alex Jay has just posted a great article ON HIS BLOG about Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster’s high school art and theater work, as well as their early science fiction fanzine, and also examines many possible influences on Shuster’s evolving designs for the Superman logo, example above. Alex’s examples of telescoped lettering reinforce the idea that it was a popular and much-used style at the time, not something that sprang from the mind of Shuster alone, though the Superman logo is where it’s best known today. Well worth a read!

Pulled From My Files #39: BLACK CONDOR LOGO


Images © DC Comics.

I have very little on this logo in my files, just two marker sketches. I like the Condor silhouette on this one, but the R looks too much like a B. That could have been fixed, but Curtis King and the editor must not have liked this direction for the revamp of the 1940s character in 1992.

BlackCondor2There must have been more sketches, but this is the other one I have. the triangle in the background is part of the character’s chest symbol. I don’t know where the idea for the rest came from.

Black_Condor_1Nor do I have a copy of the finished logo, but here it is on the first issue, and it looks like an exact tracing of the second logo sketch. Not one of my best efforts, but not bad.