The character Thor’s own title was missing for a few years during the mid 1990s, as part of a deal with Image Comics, but he returned to a relaunched title in 1998 that reused the Alex Jay logo, still looking as timeless and appropriate as ever. Even fighting all the other trade dress on this cover, it shines.
In the fall of 2001, Marvel asked Comicraft to design a new Thor logo. John “JG” Roshell took the design lead, as he often does, and has graciously shared his design sketches and notes, which are quoted below.
JG writes, I’m a huge fan of Celtic manuscript lettering, so my first few attempts were along those lines. This was a combination of two alphabets I scanned out of some Celtic lettering books. I used the H O and R pretty much as-is, while creating a new T and taking the knot work to fill it in.
The same lettering shapes (except on the T) without the fill.
A basic type treatment using our font Golem for THOR.
I’m pretty sure the editor asked for a shorter, squatter version without “The Mighty” tagline. They were going back and forth on whether to use that or not.
Hey, these are pretty cool! Did I really do these? 😉 I dig the heavily stylized thick-and-thins! 3A is the same thing without the shading and outlines. I’m pretty sure the letters-along-the-edges-as-roughening idea came from Richard (Starkings). I definitely wouldn’t have thought of that. The font for that is Stonehenge (also used for THE MIGHTY in #2).
Changing gears to something more typically comic booky, using our font Treacherous Curves.
A gothic/olde Englishe attempt. I was probably picturing the AC/DC logo.
Aaaand everything old is new again. The editor liked the little edge letters, but suggested trying them on (something more like) the Alex Jay Thor logo.
Getting close — combined the weight and proportions of #6 with the corners and ends of #4. (The taglines are all in Treacherous Curves.)
Final: shrank “The Mighty” and added a gold outline. Done! I believe they used it with and without the tagline.