A Review of DC’s New 52 logos: Part 1
Aug 30, 2011 by     1 Comment     Posted In: Reviews

If you’ve been following this blog, you probably know I have a background in graphic design – specifically in branding and logo design. DC has officially released all of the logo designs for each of the 52 books. So let’s take a look at them and determine the good, the bad and the ugly.

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Slight change makes it more vertically compact. Still instantly recognizable. I think this design’s dependence of spreading across the entire top of the comic is problematic but I respect the need to keep it around due to it’s now Iconic status.
The distress makes sense here as it does reference a worn sign. The font is historically accurate as well. The star is understated and adds a subtle color accent that I think comes across as mature. A good logo.

Good typography here. The balance of positive and negative space is very well handled and the up and down pattern of the stem endings is a clever visual trick. The claw marks are unnecessary. This is good design.

I’m pleased with the simplicity and light nature of this. There’s some subtlety to the type. I would prefer to not see the small dip in the bowl of the capital A repeated in each other A. I am concerned at the lack of contrast though but usually these logos don’t have fixed color so this will probably end up being filled in with darker values for light backgrounds.

This is a disaster. Were I the art director on this project I would reject this outright.

It’s 0 for 2 in the Bat-titles so far. Soft drop shadows are not for logos. Never.

Unchanged and still a good design. There is strong compact symmetry to the design. Lots of character here.

There are only so many variations on the bat symbol one can draw. I like the idea of introducing asymmetry to the design but the white lines are overdone and conflict with the the type. I think the typography is good and the distress is not as heavy handed as with several of the other 52 logos.

I think this one is a missed opportunity. The half symbol is a good idea but it needs to be taller. They could also have tweaked the type so that the “I” in Knight would have been centered to complete the bat symbol. That would have looked cool. There’s also a lot of problems with visual tension. I think this design is a good concept which is pretty much ruined by weak typography. Ugh, the tracking on “BATMAN”. *shudder*

Now here is a logo with charisma. What a cool futuristic art-deco design! It stands out as unlike any other and is quite well executed. I might nitpick the kerning but I’ll let it pass. This is a winner but again, it seems many of the new ones may have been rushed out because the previous iterations were probably better.

Another concept with potential severely dampened by weak type. Also, the usage of “grunge” texture is becoming arbitrary. I’m assuming this has to do with Didio’s mandate of calling back to the 90s to regain lapsed readers. I got no problem with texture. It looks great when appropriate, but this is just random usage.

Actually, this looks quite fresh and crisp. I’m undecided on the thin white lines. I think they may be superfluous to the design. But overall I’m diggin’ it. The “R” needs work.

This looks like the sequel of a Jennifer Love-Hewitt horror movie knock off. Not much to like here. Not that it’s badly designed. It’s just unimaginative. Seen it before.

What is this? A sports team? Again with the random usage of distress. And not particularly well executed at that.

Now we’re talking! A genuinely refreshing look. I love the lower case too. You don’t see that much in comic book logos. And the subtle hint to sci-fi with the font is nice touch. They’ll need a reverse version to work on dark backgrounds. Also, Is this supposed to span the entire width of the comic? Not sure how they will implement those funky “tron” lines at either side.

No. This is not a logo designed to appear in print. This is a screen shot of the opening credits to a Captain Atom TV show. A tacky one at that.

Functional. I’ll accept it.

Considering the target audience for this book I’m going to say I like it. I like that they didn’t just snap helvetica in there and texturize it. They actually applied some typographic skills to this design. The slight angled cut off at the top of “stroke” is a nice touch. But breaking the rectangle isn’t.

Here’s a good example of a good idea that was allowed to rot. I like the clawed serif. But they put it one every single letter, multiple times per letter. Very amateurish.

Not bad. I’m wondering if maybe the book will have more tech-based stories as this design suggests. Those concentric circles were trending in logo design 5 or so years ago so this does “have a behind the curve” feel because of it. I say lose the circles and increase the font size on “the nuclear man” so you can tighten up the tracking and you got a winner.

A good call back to old flash logos with the skewing but different enough to act as a demarcation. I question the placement of the “the”. In fact, I question the need to have it there at all. We don’t say “The SUuerman”. Why hang onto it with this character?

At first I was off put by the video game look of this but I’m warming up to the whole high-tech secret agent feel of this design. Nice and compact too.

This is pretty cool. I think that green circle is a little too wide but it’s a nitpick. This looks a bit like an airline brand don’t you think? I like the hip corporate vibe. It works.

In part 2 tomorrow we’ll start with the Green Lantern Family of titles. What do you think of these logos? Do you have favorites?


1 Comment Add Comment

  • Stingray571 September 12, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    After looking through all 52 logos, I don’t have any problems with any of them except Catwoman and Batman. Batgirl was iffy until I saw it on the cover of #1, then it it looked ok to me. The Batman logo looks like it has ADD and Catwoman’s I just hate. I can’t describe how much it doesn’t seem to work, I just hate it(though I’ll still buy the book). The Catwoman logo from the 1993 Jo Duffy/Jim Balent series makes more sense.