Logo Study: DAREDEVIL Part 4

Images © Marvel Characters, Inc.

In 2001 writer Jeph Loeb and artist Tim Sale brought their unique vision to Daredevil with this miniseries. As with previous ones by the team, the lettering and design work was by Comicraft, with Richard Starkings doing the cover design and logo here using the font Atkinson French Condensed, one of a dozen digital fonts from Atkinson’s book of display alphabets of a century ago, adding an appropriate period look to the cover. Sometimes finding the right font is the key to a great cover or logo.

In 2003 Marvel’s Ultimate line included this miniseries, with logos designed by staffer Tom Marvelli (great name for a Marvel staffer!). This version of DAREDEVIL follow the design of JG Roshell from the Marvel Knights relaunch, but without the slant and with a deep, symmetrical curve to only the bottom edge of the letters, framing the ELEKTRA logo nicely. Individually these three logo words are well designed, though as a whole they don’t work together for me, perhaps because they’re so different.

2003 also saw the release of the Daredevil film, and for once the ads at least had a logo that looks like it could have been designed for a comic. It’s different from any on the actual Marvel comics, but whoever designed it certainly gave it a comics feel. While very rectangular, the larger D and rightward slant matches many of the comics ones, and the use of pointed serifs is very Marvel. I particularly like the shape of the V, one I don’t recall seeing elsewhere, and the graphic treatment of the letters framed by a paler outline and a soft drop-shadow all work well. If Marvel were ever in search of a new DD logo for a comic, this one, if available, would certainly work.

Another miniseries in 2004 featured this large and striking logo treatment, which was designed on staff by Jeof Vita. While both words are in standard sans-serif type, FATHER has been arched at the bottom and given a smudged look appropriate to the style of the cover art, and the large size makes it a fine graphic element of the overall design. The F and R are hard to read, but really, what other word could it be than FATHER?

Another Marvel Knights miniseries used this type-based logo treatment, also done by Marvel design staffers. The font used for REDEMPTION is a familar one, but I can’t put my finger on it. The use of a celtic cross symbol in the T might be part of the font, or created for this use, I’m not sure. Certainly the extension of the right leg of the R is added. Despite a lot of logo elements I usually like: a the arched lower edge, open letters with a black outline, a drop shadow, somehow this one doesn’t work very well for me. Perhaps it’s the spacing out of the letters, too much air between them, or the fact that the T draws so much attention, I don’t know.

Back in the main Marvel Knights DAREDEVIL title, a mini-series within the series in 2005 had this striking type treatment, probably designed by creators Bendis and Maleev. It’s another example of how standard sans-serif fonts can be used effectively in a poster-like setting. I particularly like the way the YO of YOUR are reversed out of the figure.

Another one followed, also probably by Bendis and Maleev, who then Marvel staffer Patrick McGrath reports were doing the entire cover designs at the time. DAREDEVIL is in the same font as the previous cover but looks quite different because of the colors and gradient. THE MURDOCK PAPERS provides good contrast as a very roughly hand-lettered design.

Most of the series continued to use the JG Roshell design from 1998, though, as seen here on this 2009 issue…

…and later in 2009 the book’s numbering reached 500 by the clever addition of all the previous series issues, a favorite device of Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada. Roshell’s logo continues to cover the series to the present time, and still looks good to me, though the tagline THE MAN WITHOUT FEAR! remains hard to read in some cases.

That brings us up to date. Hope you’ve enjoyed this logo study. Previous chapters and many other logo studies can be found on my LOGO LINKS page.

5 thoughts on “Logo Study: DAREDEVIL Part 4

  1. Pingback: Logo Study: Daredevil Part 4 « COMICON.com Pulse: Comic Book News, Opinion and Insight

  2. Whalehead King

    I notice that the earlier logos get traced to individual artists while the more current ones are referred to as: “he chose this font and manipulated it with this software.” As an established letterer from the old school, what do you think about this point-and-click lettering in logo design? I don’t want to say anyone can create a workable logo based on the software available, but I do think that being able to use T square, india ink, and french curve, made for more interesting and eccentric designs. The Golden Age logos aren’t all gems but they do make you study them rather than, “this is something off the rack.”

    I’m a dinosaur, of course. When I went to school for graphic design, computers used punch cards. I’d appreciate learning your thoughts since you’ve been in both eras and you obviously enjoy lettering and doing production work by hand.

  3. Todd Post author

    The computer is a tool, like the ones you mentioned, just a much more expensive one. It can be used well or not. I like having the options it offers, and try not to allow it to make me lazy, usually starting with hand-drawn sketches.

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