Category Archives: Logo Studies

Milton Glaser and the DC Bullet

World's Finest 248
DC Bullet from World’s Finest #248, Jan. 1978. This and all images © DC Comics. This and all images (except the next one) courtesy of Heritage Auctions,

With the recent passing of veteran acclaimed designer Milton Glaser, his work is getting new attention, including the symbol he created for DC Comics in 1976. This and all other versions of the generally round symbol are known by company staff as the “DC Bullet.” I think the reference is to the old typesetting term for a large round black spot: • which is used today for “bullet point lists” in manuscripts or ad copy. Originally bullet was also another name for a period in typography. Imagine that tiny black spot much larger with letters in it and you have the DC bullet. Here’s the Glaser version compared to earlier ones:

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Making Logo Sketch Cards

This and all logo images © DC and Marvel comics appropriately.

Recently I wrote here about my new idea for something to sell at the Baltimore Comic-Con on Oct. 18-20: Logo Sketch Cards. The popularity of “sketch covers,” comics with an alternate cover having only the logo and trade dress printed, leaving the rest blank for a unique artist sketch, gave me the idea of doing the same sort of thing, but with marker sketches of comics and character logos on Strathmore drawing paper cut to the size of a comic, as above. I’m not sure how well they will sell (my asking price at the Con is $30 each), but I’m having a lot of fun making them. I’m enjoying revisiting many old friends in logo form, and it’s giving me a good reason to spend a lot more time at my drawing board than I have in years. I like that, too. I thought I’d show how I’m making them here.

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Images © DC Comics and Marvel Comics respectively.

Here’s something new I’m trying: LOGO SKETCH CARDS. Sketch covers are popular now, comics with a blank cover except for the printed logo and trade dress that artists do marker sketches on at conventions. I thought, why not do marker sketches of logos on cover size art paper that people could buy and use to get sketches from artists? Each card is on Strathmore 400 Series drawing paper cut to cover size. The logos are drawn with Sakura Pigma markers which use waterproof, chemical resistant, fade proof, bleed free black ink. Both paper and ink are pH neutral, acid free. Logos are all black line work except for Batman, which has a gray india ink wash. If you’re getting a color sketch from an artist, the open areas can be colored by them. If you’re getting simply a marker sketch, the logo matches, and the entire card is original art, nothing printed. Each Logo Sketch card will come on an acid free backing board in a crystal clear comics bag. I’ll be at the Baltimore ComicCon this October 18-20 as a guest, and plan to have them for sale there for $30 each. If you’re going to the con and would like to commission a particular logo, message me on Facebook or email me and we’ll work out the details. Let me know if you like this idea! Thanks. More below.

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Pulled From My Files #96: METROPOLIS POSTCARD

This and following images © DC Comics.

In 1998 I was asked to design logo-style lettering for a promotional postcard advertising the four-issue series SUPERMAN FOR ALL SEASONS. Here’s a tiny thumbnail layout from DC’s Brian Pierce, top, and the art for the postcard with my lettering laid over it in Photoshop. This is what I sent back to Brian to show how it would work on the art. Continue reading

Pulled From My Files #91: MORE X-MEN LOGOS

This and all images © Marvel.

Late in 1994 I was asked by Marvel to design a new CHRONICLES tagline to go with an X-MEN logo I’d already done for them. This is the first of four marker sketches for that tagline. What I’d do in a case like this is make a few photocopies of the main logo, draw the tagline in pencil and ink it with markers. These sketches were either photocopied again and mailed to Marvel, or I might have been using my first scanner at this point. The first sketch mimics the ragged X, which itself mimics the first X-Men logo by Sol Brodsky and Artie Simek. Continue reading