Logo longevity (or not)

Robin 1 cover
©DC Comics, Inc.

Seth Rosenblatt writes:

If you had any comments to make about modern-era long-lasting logos and what contributes to a logo’s longevity, I’d be interested in reading about that, too. (For what it’s worth, I think the Robin logo has been around for 17 years with only cosmetic tweaks – must be some kind of a record.)

Above is the cover of the Robin mini-series #1 from 1991, and I think the logo actually debuted a bit before that. Current issues of Robin continue to use this attractive logo, and you’re right, Seth, that’s kind of unusual these days when logos seem to change with the seasons sometimes.

In this case, the logo was redesigned at the same time as the costume, by Neal Adams I believe, though I’m not sure about that. Having the same R on the logo and the costume makes it a good “brand” logo, useful for character recognition and marketing, so that’s one reason why it’s still around, though I don’t know if it’s still on the costume. It’s a logo that continues to look contemporary to me, not dated at all. One reason logos change is to bring in a more modern style. Another common reason these days is to herald a new direction for the character, a new creative team, a new number one issue. This logo really seems a good fit for the character, some characters never find one. (Aquaman comes to mind.)

Robin’s logo meets the four basic criteria I think are crucial for a good comics logo: READABILITY, STRENGTH, APPROPRIATENESS and ORIGINALITY. For more on this, see my How To page on the subject, here. Many logos have two or three scores among these criteria, but not all four. That may be why it has bucked the trend and remained viable for so long. There’s also the fact that Robin is a popular character with a long history. Lots of good logos have disappeared when their characters or books did. I may do a post about some of those one day.

Hope that answered your question, Seth.

ADDED: More accurate information on this logo is now in my ROBIN logo study, Part 2.

Other logo studies on my LOGO LINKS page.

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