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.

Sketch 2 is more typical of the block letters I often used for logos.

Sketch 3 is a taller version of that.

Sketch 4 is the same as 3 but with a narrower and solid black drop shadow.

Sketch 4 was chosen, and here’s the final inked version with marks to indicate how it should be placed under the main logo.

Strangely, I also have this completely different version, a final logo not a sketch, using a different X-MEN logo I also designed. Perhaps this one was done earlier, and before they used it they decided to go the other way.

The printed cover dated March 1995. As you can see, they ignored my placement suggestion and put it on top of the main logo to save space on this too-crowded cover.

Around the same time I did marker sketch designs for X-CALIBRE. This one is pretty busy, with a circle on the X to tie it to the X-Men costumes, and telescoping drop-shadow.

Version 2 uses the same idea with a deep black drop shadow instead of telescoping.

The third sketch uses a much thinner black drop shadow.

The first sketch was chosen, here it is on the cover of issue #1. Despite the color hold to red lines that flattens it somewhat, I think it looks pretty good. Telescoping logos were on the way out by 1995, this may have been one of the last ones I did for Marvel.

I tried telescoping on another title later in 1995, using the well-known Jim Steranko X-Men logo as the starting point.

The second sketch goes back to that X-Men logo I’d already done for Marvel. The main problem with the design is that it’s so tall, taking up too much cover space.

A heavy black drop shadow and smaller PRIME doesn’t help at all, and I think looks worse than version 2.

When the book came out, it had another version of the logo with PRIME on the right side. I’m pretty sure I did that, but don’t have a copy of it. It certainly helped with the too-tall problem, and even then gets partly covered by character art. It’s surprisingly still readable, even so.

More of these when I have time.

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