All images © DC Comics, Inc.
Wrapping up this logo study, in 1997 the comic above was published adapting a story from a cartoon show featuring Superman and Batman together, so the title seems appropriate. I’m not sure, but I think the logo design comes from the cartoon. I know this version of the words BATMAN and SUPERMAN does, and WORLD’S FINEST is in the same font. Haven’t seen the show, but it looks intriguing. The font is in the Streamline or Moderne Art Deco style, very appropriate.
In 1999 DC put out another WORLD’S FINEST mini featuring the usual team of Superman and Batman, and this one has a stylishly thin commercial type logo. I asked DC’s Curtis King about it, and he told me, “I designed the cover logo and trade dress for the 1999 Prestige-format miniseries. The logo is based on a font called DINER, which survives to this day in DC’s Font Library.” I haven’t been able to find a font with that name and look online, but it’s certainly in the Art Deco style and looks great here on the black frame. I think the font used for the credits and other bottom type is again Washington.
This next item, also from 1999, is from my files, and is a mystery. It’s clearly a tight revamp of the original WORLD’S FINEST logo from 1941, shown here for comparison:
It was commissioned from me by Robbin Brosterman at DC, but I can’t find any published comic or book that used it, so it may have been for a project that didn’t see print. I used the opportunity to correct some of what I saw as flaws in the original design: making all the letter stroke widths the same, and fixing the curves of the S in COMICS, for instance. The work was done in Adobe Illustrator on my computer, probably traced over a scan of one of the old cover logos. If anyone spots this logo in print, let me know!
This book, published in 2000, is surely the most hilarious take on the WORLD’S FINEST concept, with Evan Dorkin using Mr. Mxyzptlk and Bat-Mite to cut a path of destruction through the DC universe, and many versions of Superman and Batman therein. The logo is the Ira Schnapp one from 1958, modified in an entertaining way.
This book, part of one of those epic crossover events, uses the font Radiant Condensed for WORLD’S FINEST, just like the Gibbons/Rude mini-series of 1990. What a contrast to the book immediately above. I haven’t read it, but it looks pretty gloomy.
In 2003 DC took a new approach to the teaming of their most popular heroes, a book called simply SUPERMAN/BATMAN. Instead of a logo of the usual sort, it features simply a clever icon at the top which combines the chest symbols of the two characters. I haven’t yet discovered who designed it, but I like it a lot, and think it’s a fine and innovative way to identify the book. A bit out of the range of this study, but worth a look all the same, and the comic is still going strong today.
And that brings us to the most recent incarnation of WORLD’S FINEST, a new miniseries now being published, first issue cover dated December, 2009. This book appears to be a spinoff of sorts from the SUPERMAN/BATMAN one, since it uses the icon for that between the words WORLD’S and FINEST, and this first issue features Red Robin and Nightwing. Future issues will apparently feature other characters from the Superman and Batman books.
As for the logo, Ken Lopez at DC told me, “I put this one together. I used the font, Rogue Sans, from Device. Thought it made for a nice, contemporary update.” It does indeed, having similarities to the original WF logo from 1941, but enough differences to give it a fresh look. And Device Fonts are crafted by Rian Hughes, another accomplished logo designer for DC and other companies, which creates a sort of design partnership between Ken and Rian that results in an attractive logo.
Here it is on the second issue, with the words stacked, looking even more like the first version from 1941. The SUPERMAN/BATMAN symbol seems to be dropped on randomly at the bottom, and I think would look better off to one side of FINEST, but that’s a minor point, it all works fine.
That brings us up to the present. Hope you’ve enjoyed this study. Other chapters and more logo studies can be found on my LOGO LINKS page.