In 2008, when DC Comics changed it’s logo from the DC “bullet” that many fans (myself included) grew up on, to a new image featuring the letters with a star swirling around the company letters, there was the natural fan backlash. In the past three years, now that it has been used enough and fans have seen it animated in feature films and video games, that DC logo has by and large become accepted. Today, DC has changed their logo yet again. Gone are the traditional DC features. There is no circle. There is no star. The new logo is simple and, at first glance, very corporate.
When I first saw the new logo a few days ago before DC made the official announcement, I thought that it was just a prototype and not one that they’d actually use. The logo, featuring the letter D being peeled back to reveal the C beneath was too… boring. At first glance, it didn’t have the sense of excitement and fun that is needed in a good comic book logo.
Of course, the initial images were those taken from the US copyright office website and they featured no color or texture, so of course they were bland. Now that DC Universe: The Source has officially announced the logo, they’ve also given us a more colorful look at exactly how the logo will be used on DC products. And I have to say… I like it! I like it a lot!
I know I’ll be in the minority since comic book fans tend to be reactionary and argumentative lot and to say that they don’t like change would be putting it lightly. I can say this because I’m normally in the same camp. When DC announced that they were planning to reboot their entire line, I said it was a stupid bad horrible very bad stupid idea. Of course, if you’ve been reading my reviews here on ScienceFiction.com, you’ll know that I’ve since eaten my words. That, and the fact that I’m one of the fans that rallied against the last logo change before eventually coming to love it, has given me enough perspective to pause and give this new logo a chance.
Once color and design elements are added to the logo, it becomes much more dynamic. The D is peeled back pretty much the same on each incarnation, with only the color being changed each time. But the C underneath is now more three-dimensional and has effects and designs laid on it. For example, the logo for ‘The Watchmen’ (top) features a Yellow C with a bloody bullet hole, replicating the famous smiley button worn by the Comedian that is the trademark symbol of the novel.
The “peel back” effect also allows for some creative looks in advertising. Some mock-ups on DC’s blog show how this will be used. One example is the Superman image above with the plain color page folded back to reveal the character beneath. I can see this lending itself to a bunch of cool uses down the road. It can be used to show changes in creative teams. It can be tweaked to only peel back a bit to hint at things that may becoming (event comics, major character changes and the like). And, in the realm of digital comics, it lends itself well to apps in that the “peel” can be used as an app log and easily incorporated into the app to change pages, open comics, etc. The logo has a lot of potential and I can’t wait to see how DC puts it to use.