DC Comics’ new logo – Good design or bad design?

new-dc-logoIf you’re a comic book fan you’ve probably seen the new DC Comics logo. Unless you’ve been living on a planet far away, that is.

DC Comics recently relaunched all of their books, some things have changed quite a bit, others have stayed close to where they were before the relaunch (most Batman books) and I am surprised that this new logo and brand design didn’t happen in September with the relaunch.

Let’s take a look at the logo. Just about every blog or tweet I’ve seen about the new design is saying how horrible it is, or telling us how many people are saying how horrible it is.

What makes a good logo? Just Creative Design lists these bullet points:

  • Simple
  • Memorable
  • Timeless
  • Versatile
  • Appropriate

Simple

apple-logoIs the new DC logo simple? I’d say no. A good logo can stand alone without words, much like Apple’s logo. At first glance  would the majority of people looking at the DC logo, without words, realize that it was a “D” being pulled back to reveal the “C”? Further, would they realize that the “DC” stood for DC Comics?

Would they get the explanation that Landor Associates (why do design companies always have terrible sites?), the design firm behind the new brand design? That it symbolizes “the duality of the iconic characters”?

I doubt both of those.

Memorable

This is a fresh new design, so it’s hard to guess its staying power, but I don’t see this as being a logo people see and remember. Not for good reasons, at least.

Timeless

This logo is definitely not timeless. It is very modern and indicative of the times. You wouldn’t see a logo like this 10 years ago, and you may not see one like this 10 years from now. Back to Apple’s logo. It is the same apple shape that they have been using since 1976, however it has slowly evolved over the years. The same evolution can been seen in a lot of company logos such as the modern AT&T logo (1984 onwards).

Versatile

Well, this is open for debate. This logo has been designed so that they can tailor it to any book and character.

dc-logos-colors

This is nothing new, though. DC Comics has been doing this with their previous logo for some time now.

Appropriate

Here’s where I differ from some of my friends that I’ve talked to about the new logo, but writing this blog has made me change my mind, which I’ll get to in a moment.

I used to say it was a good logo design, but not a good logo for a comic book company. It has no majesty that any of the characters posses.

Take a look at DC Comics last logo design. The star orbits the DC letters, giving the feeling that it is circling a universe. It animated perfectly for use in movies and television shows. This logo is much more suited for a comic book company rather than the peel back DC logo.

dc-shoes-logoThe new DC logo screams skateboarding to me. Why? I don’t know, but I think it would be a better fit for DC Shoes, than DC Comics (although the DC Shoes logo is great).

So is it a good logo or what?

I have come around on my feelings on the logo. While I still like the design, it is a bad logo because it doesn’t suit DC Comics. If this logo was for a different kind of company the outcome may be very different and we would be praising this as a great logo design.

But for now? This DC Comics logo is a bad logo that we’ll have to live with for the foreseeable future. Which, in the comic book world could be retconned next month!