BATMAN (and ROBIN) Logo Designer JERRY ROBINSON

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All images © DC Comics, Inc.

One of the things I expected when I started doing my Logo Studies was that I would never be able to find out for sure, or at all, who designed many of the original comics logos from the 1940s. Today I proved that expectation wrong when I spoke to Jerry Robinson, one of the first Batman artists, and involved with the character almost from the beginning. I got in touch with him to see what he might remember about early logo designer Ira Schnapp (nothing helpful, as it turned out), but also wanted to ask him about this original Robin logo:

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which I thought he must have designed when he created the look of the character. Jerry confirmed that he did, indeed, create this first Robin logo, using an Old English style of letters to tie in to the character’s Robin Hood connection. Then he floored me by saying he had also designed the early Batman logo seen above.

“Was it the one with the Batman head and the ribs in the wings?” I asked. He found a copy of an early Batman comic and confirmed that was it. “We used it for years,” he told me.

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In fact, it was this revised version, first appearing on issue 6 in 1941, that was used until issue 169 in 1965, a very long time indeed. I didn’t have these images in front of me when I spoke to Jerry, but I imagine he did this version, too, with a different Batman head and no ribbing in the bat wings. The shape of the B has also been improved with a circle template. “I wasn’t a calligrapher,” he told me, “so I may not have done the letters so well, but it was intended to be an Art Deco look.”

While perhaps not perfectly on-model, I think it worked great, and obviously everyone else involved liked it, too. Thanks to Paul Levitz for putting me in touch with Jerry, and thank YOU, Mr. Robinson, for adding to our knowledge on this subject, knowledge I thought was forever beyond reach. I’ve now updated  my Batman Part 1 and Part 2 and Robin Part 1 logo studies to include this new information.

10 thoughts on “BATMAN (and ROBIN) Logo Designer JERRY ROBINSON

  1. Pingback: THE BEAT » Blog Archive » BATMAN logo designer discovered

  2. Bryan Stroud

    I was kind of curious as to why you hadn’t contacted Jerry. If he’d give an interview to add to my others at the website, I knew he’d answer your call.

  3. Joe Field

    Hi Todd—
    As for your research about Ira Schnapp: You may want to contact Joel Pollack of Big Planet comics in Bethesda MD. If I recall, Joel is somehow related to Ira.

    Nice story about Jerry Robinson. His involvement with comics and comics’ history over the past 70 years is remarkable!

    Joe Field
    Flying Colors
    Concord CA

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  5. Art Lortie

    Check out “The Bat” from 1926 at http://www.silentera.com/video/batHV.html — especially the image near the bottom. There was also a 1930 talkie version called “The Bat Whispers” that I haven’t researched

    Possible influence for the Batman logo — but just how many permutations can there be for drawing a bat?

    Art Lortie

  6. Pingback: Todd’s Blog » Blog Archive » My Jerry Robinson moment

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