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!
Logo images © Steve Tice and Todd Klein.
In 1993 I was asked to design the logo for a fanzine created by Steve Tice. The content was to lean heavily toward SANDMAN and the work of Neil Gaiman. I loved the name, and came up with these three sketches. The center one was chosen for the final logo. The curlicues were inspired by the art of Frank C. Papé, in his illustrations for “The Cream of the Jest” by James Branch Cabell, a book and author Neil and I both liked. Papé often gave his delightful pen and ink illustrations handsome hand-lettered captions. Here’s an example:
If you don’t know the work of these gentlemen, it’s worth seeking out. I don’t think Papé illustrated a lot of Cabell’s books, but the ones he did are greatly enhanced by his work, which seems largely forgotten now.
Here’s the final logo, one of my favorites. The magazine only lasted a few issues, but they were good ones.