Over here at Asylum Heights we don't just like to post links to Star Wars. I also care deeply for comics. Sometimes even going so far as to provide newcomics. It's therefore inevitable that I'm going to spend some time over the next few months to prattle on about the unrelenting train wreck of D.C. Comics. Train wreck? Oh, did you hear about the upcoming Watchmen prequels? Yes, that is a real thing. Armed with the cash cow, money printing duo of Superman (the original, most iconic, best known superhero) and Bat Man (showing us that a modern, rodent themed, masked version of Sir. Arthur Conan Doyle is the coolest thing possible) they've been able to make any bizarre move or misstep unscathed. Like this latest relaunch mess about hyper sexualizing key characters. Choosing to alienate millions of young female fans with ready disposable cash, in order to create more wank bank material for, well, jerks like me... and I don't BUY comics for that reason. I think the big complaint I have with D.C. is they owe their success more to the likes of Paul Dini then to anything they themselves have done.
So, let's talk about the new D.C. logo.
For a company that's been reinventing itself for eighty years its had a good run of emblems, and I wouldn't fault them for sprucing things up periodically. Check them out. Personally, I think the 1974-2005 logo is the hands down winner. Perhaps a bit of nostalgia is creeping in for the one I grew up with; However, as a graphic, bold, simple design it had a really good balance. It took the classic motif they've been using since the 40's and punched it up with great graphic design fundamentals. It also looks like the Converse Allstar logo, so that's cool. Then, after the longest run of any of them, D.C. changed it. For years now I've wondered what the underlying message was when they incorporated the cartoon iconography for having been wholloped in the head around their persona. Was it a cry for help? Perhaps... did you look at the NEW logo?
We in the Royal Daveland Society for Over-analyzing Things No One Cares About would like to put forwards our thoughts on the two main changes made. The first is abandoning the traditional elements of the D.C. stamp. All of the emblem variations from 1940-2012 have a central 'DC' surrounded by a circle. When creating a logo you want it to represent the nature of what it's representing as best a possible, so with an old company, say one that has been a long standing institution in the industry, you want to reflect that. Think about the differences between advertising heavyweights Coke and Pepsi; Coke is the older company and wants to associate itself more with history tradition, whereas Pepsi, a much younger company uses that to it's advantage by taking a more 'young, hip, fresh' approach. So knowing that little tidbit it's obvious why Pepsi takes much more liberties with their logo design. With the '05 D.C. redesign, there was a significant change in aesthetic direction while keeping a clear line of reflection to the earlier icons. It's not to say that this is how it should be, but if you're going to make significant changes and forgo that easy historic/nostalgia advantage, there should be a good reason.
The second problem is the why. With the complete relaunch of all their major titles it's an easy given that a new D.C. comics logo would be part of that. Yet I cannot fathom why they would choose the one they did. It's kind of a big deal to decide on the face of your corporate identity. As a logo it's less legible, more complex, and doesn't really say anything about the company. So, the 'D' is peeling back, so, it's like a book? Does it reference the notion that they still publish tangible books in a increasing digital world? Or are they switching to a full time sticker company? I don't get it. It just strikes me as a very lazy design, the sort of thing an amateur graphic designer would shit out in photoshop for a small internet start up. That's exactly what it looks like, an internet company logo. Those candy colours, the photoshop gradients, exactly the same style as online offerings. Mostly because these companies exists in a world of pixels and numbers. It's a good thing they don't have to print their logo on a million physical graphic magazines every month! ...oh. Right. Yeah.