The evolution of the DC Comics logo

The DC Comics logo has gone through many incarnations since the company’s inception in the late 1930s. As the company found its legs, its purpose and what it stood for it has not been willing to remain stagnant and has instead embraced change and continued to develop itself as it has grown. There is great value to this but also means we have seen many different versions of the logo! There has been quite a bit of discussion about the company’s most recent logo transformation, but before we get to that, let’s take a look at how the logo as evolved in its many decades.

In 1940, DC’s first logo appeared. It was very simple and simply involved two circles and simple text. DC originally specialised in Detective Comics (hence DC).

As the company developed and the types of comics began to expand, specifically with the introduction of Superman to DC Comics, the logo too developed to incorporate this:

In 1949, the company changed its name to National Comics. The logo was subtly adjusted to accommodate this. Colour was also added at this time.

It was in the 70s, 1972 to be exact that the recognizable bold sans serif DC letters were first introduced, still within the simple circle.This logo lasted from 1972-1974 before DC decided to play with it again.

In 1974 the logo was again adjusted to include two starts and more text. This logo was a bit crowded, and akin to baseball logos of the time. Don’t you think?

As the company gained a new publisher another new logo was designed. This one, known as the bullet was the longest running logo and one of DCs most recognisable. It reminds me of an old vinyl record. It first appeared in 1976 and was used until 2005.

The logo that followed lasted from 2005-2012 and has been quite recognisable and liked by many.This one changes the colour scheme completely and the font. It was re-designed to go along with DC’s move into the wider entertainment sectors including film.

This year, DC has unveiled a new logo. They have done away with the trademark circular shape and stuck instead to the DC, pairing down the logo to its basics. The first response to the simple base for the logo was not good, however as DC revealed its many incarnations and comic specific designs for the new logo, it became clearer why they had chosen to do this. Perhaps the different variations will mean that DC remains happy with the design for longer?

This new logo also works well across different mediums, which is important in this time of cross-platform productions. In my opinion, this is quite exciting and the different designs are quite effective. I however am still partial to the black 1976 logo.

What do you think?


If you have a logo you’d like to suggest for our logo evolutions spotlights, pleased submit it via our Facebook page or via Twitter @thelogocompany.

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