May 17, 2016

DC Comics gets a semi-retro new logo

DC Comics gets a semi-retro new logo

On Tuesday, DC Comics unveiled the company’s newest logo, its third one in the past 11 years. Here’s the new logo:

2016 DC Comics logo

If it looks familiar, that’s probably because its inspirations are pretty retro. Below are the various logos DC’s had through its history.

DC Comics logos

DC’s new logo looks like the middle row’s left two, their ones from 1972-1974 and 1974-1976 respectively. Here they are on the classic covers below:

Action Comics #428
“Action Comics” #428 (October 1973). Art by Nick Cardy.
Superman #286
“Superman” #286 (April 1975). Art by Bob Oksner.

On the critical side, I always thought that plain 70s DC logo was the most generic looking one DC’s had. I also would’ve vastly preferred bringing back the classic “DC bullet.” That one lasted through 2005, when it was replaced by the “swirling star.” The swirling star logo was replaced in 2011 with the less-than-exciting “peel.” (It looks like the swirling star got dropped both to emphasize the New 52 reboot and out of a trademark conflict.) There’s also the odd choices of going with a serif font (given prevailing design trends seem to favor sans serif fonts), plus those indentations in the “D” and “C” letters.

On the plus side, I think the (sort of) new logo looks a lot better than the “peel.” This new one also brings back the idea of DC’s logo being a recognizable-looking circle, unlike the last two. It also should look decent (unlike the “peel”) when shrunk for mobile devices. Finally, the new logo also looks fairly minimalist and flat, keeping with current design aesthetics.

The new logo is being used by DC as of now. DC’s Twitter account’s been changed to reflect the new look, and the logo’s live on DC’s website. The comics will introduce the logo with the “Rebirth” revamp.

Overall, I’m OK with the new logo. But given how rapidly they’ve changed logos in the last decade or so, we’ll see how long the new one lasts. The longest-lasting DC logos have been the blue, four-star-using “DC bullet” (1976-2005) and the “Superman/National Comics” logo (1949-1970).

How do you feel about the new logo?

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