Logo Design: TEMPEST

All images © DC Comics

Garth, also known as Aqualad, first appeared in 1960 in the Aquaman feature in ADVENTURE COMICS #269. I don’t have any of his early appearances. Above is the way he looked in WHO’S WHO IN THE DC UNIVERSE in 1985, with a logo that might have been done by Ira Schnapp in the 1960s, drawn by George Perez, who was also drawing him in THE NEW TEEN TITANS. In 1996 Phil Jimenez revamped the character for a new mini-series,  giving him a new name, TEMPEST. The character was now depicted as a young adult, and the name change was overdue, as he was no longer a boy sidekick to Aquaman. A good name for an aquatic character I think; the word means a violent storm, but has long been associated with a storm at sea because of the Shakespeare play of the same name. I was asked to design the logo.


I think I began with hand-sketched letters, but I don’t have that step now, just the computer files I sent to DC for approval. This first version combines strong block letters with a mix of straight and rounded forms, and pointed hooks at stroke ends, suggesting the tines of Neptune’s trident, as does the bottom end of each T. Having a T at each end could have suggested a symmetrical design, but I thought this one worked better with a larger first T, and I joined the second one to the S. When the entire design was on the computer, I gave it a sinuous wave using a vector effect. The lower version is more developed, with open letters and an open drop shadow to allow a second color and separate it better from the cover art.


This second version is nearly the same except for the lower ends of the T’s, which now have a left and right points instead of centered ones.


The third version uses different forms, but along the same lines, with curving claw-like stroke ends instead of pointed tine hooks. I like the way the right end of the first T extends to hook over the M, but I don’t like the shape of the P on this one. Didn’t do the wave/curve effect here, though I could have if they wanted it.


But they went with version 2, and that’s what was used for the mini-series. Don’t know if the logo has appeared since then, but I think it works pretty well, and I’m happy with it.

3 thoughts on “Logo Design: TEMPEST

  1. Phil Jimenez

    One of my favorite logos for my personal favorite work by my favorite letterer ever. A real honor!

  2. Alex

    A good choice on the title, I think the last style is a bit to soft for the name, as opposed to being turbulent and edgy, like you went with.

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