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Logos Title


The concept of a magazine logo is certainly nothing new, they've needed them since magazines began. Comic strips also had colorful logos, often in a separate box featuring some of the characters. The purpose of a comics logo, like that of any magazine logo, is to attract the reader and help sell the magazine. Since comics were traditionally sold in racks on newsstands and in stores where often only the top half of the comic was visible, the logo traditionally filled the top third or quarter of the cover with large, bold, colorful open letters designed to appeal to kids and other readers. Red, orange, yellow or white letters with thick black outlines were the most common. As comics developed, some companies tried to keep their logos in a similar style, to help promote their line of comics. Early DC Comics logos such as those below are a good example. (Note that I will focus on DC Comics here, as it's the company I'm most familiar with.)

Action and Detective logos

© DC Comics

I don't know who designed these logos, as that information is lost to history, but I have some guesses on THIS page of my blog. It was not Ira Schnapp, the main logo designer for DC for many years.

Many of the comics from the Golden Age and Silver Age published by DC had Ira's classic logos, and are still associated with the characters today, despite many later designs. Schnapp brought his experience as a showcard letterer and probably previous work in the pulp magazines to DC, and his logos are always clear, bold, and attractive. Here are a few of my favorites.

Ira Schnapp logos

© DC Comics

After Schnapp's departure, another letterer was called in from the freelance bullpen to fill the need for logos, and it was my all time favorite, Gaspar Saladino, who brought energy, artistic flair and great style to his logo designs. Here are a few prime examples.

Gaspar Saladino Logos

© DC Comics

In 1977 I joined the staff of DC Comics, and soon after began creating logos for the company, beginning with this one.

DC Comics Presents logo

© DC Comics

In the sidebar at right are some of my favorites, and in the KLEIN LETTERING ARCHIVES topic, also in the sidebar, you'll find a complete list with additional images.

In the 1990s, Computer lettering came into the field, and had a major impact on comics logos. I've described some of my own work of that kind HERE. You'll find more examples in the sidebar topic.

Comics logos today have generally moved away from the hand-drawn look of earlier times, often using commercial fonts as a starting point, with various kinds of computer manipulation adding interest. Here's an example of mine with those elements.

Neverwhere Logo

© Neil Gaiman

In this case, the starting point was the London Underground signs that reflect the content of the story. DC's Richard Bruning provided some help with the "distressing" of the type. The trick is to keep it readable when doing this kind of thing.

Logos continue to evolve, but the challenge remains the same: capture a potential buyer's attention with a logo that is readable, bold, attractive and exciting. I hope to continue to find ways to make that work.


All text and images © Todd Klein, except as noted. All rights reserved.


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