6 Comments

  1. Nice examination! I scarcely noticed the “peel” logo and before you even mentioned your distaste of it, I was in agreement. I don’t like it and find it unclear and confusing, the last thing anyone wants a logo to convey. The potential for playing with it does seem huge as you eloquently point out, but it still must work on its simplest level–and smallest size, and it doesn’t for me
    I have a marketing degree so don’t get nme wrong, I don’t have any prejudice against marketing people. But a consulting outfit helped encourage me to change our business name, which still makes some sense to me but customers mostly disliked or ignored, it. mostly they still just use my name (Bud Plant Comic Art became Bud’s Art Books).
    But internally , my marketing director designed a new logo and it became a linchpin in a struggle that I almost lost my manager of 20 years over. He bought into the need for change, but for me the logo change was one step too far. I gave in, hated it, and switched back to my one-and-only original book-and-rose logo after he and my manager moved on. Amazing the importance what a seemingly small item can have.
    The latest DC label does the job at least…iI like Glaser’s bullet but it might feell dated and certainly now the bullet concept is not a great one in today’s polarized world of opinions about guns. I had b
    I had no idea of the big designers who created each iteration. Love seeing the progression, I want to make your examples a poster on my wall.
    And I had no idea of the arrow in FedEx. Really!

  2. If you have a business and you talk to someone in marketing, they’ll most likely try and convince you that you need advertising or a new logo because this is how they make their living. However, the trick is buying into the right solution. In the case of a logo, it should have the right balance of functionality, communication and aesthetics. Once this is established, stay committed to it and build on it because it takes time for people to associate the logo with your business.

    As well, a logo never works in isolation. You can put on a nice Armani suit but if you behave badly, it won’t convince your date or people around you to be loyal. A nice suit or a nice logo helps to communicate your intent… but ultimately, you need to follow through and embody who you want to be, which is primarily determined by how you walk and talk.

    Perhaps a modification of your “book and rose” design is what was needed. Equity counts for something, which is why many retail brands tend to take an evolutionary approach. The current “peel” logo concept is supposed to reflect the “peeling” of clothes or an identity, revealing the hero underneath. The problem I have with this logo is that it’s too highly rendered. Back in 2005 or so, Landor sent out an internal memo that logos no longer had to conform to traditional standards. While I understand that we live in a digital age and that logo’s will almost always appear in full color these days, I feel there’s still value in a traditionally constructed logo. A much simpler logo within a system that would allow for it to be “rendered” for certain applications seems like a better solution to me. But it’s a competitive market and “shiny, glossy” effects do help sell an idea. However, no properly trained creative person would issue such a mandate so I suspect the mandate came down from a sales executive. I think the new DC logo retains the equity from prior logos and will be a lot easier to use.

    Bud, it’s an honor to have such a seasoned veteran of comics such as yourself comment on my post!

  3. Well it is the first logo to give a sense of the product. Which is what it is supposed to do.

    Good on the designer.

  4. Hmmm… sorry about the videos. Looks like the account holder has decided to make them private all of a sudden. However, you can view them at the Hillman Curtis website, along with other well know designers such as Sagmeister, Carson and architect Daniel Libeskind who did the ROM expansion:

    http://hillmancurtis.com/artist-series/

  5. Charlie, Thanks so much for your additional commentary on my note. As I’m sure you know, a logo and even the name for a business often don’t get the attention they deserve when the business is small and new. To use my own experience again, I co-owned a chai of comic book stores 1972–88. We began as “The Berkeley. Comic Art Shop,,” “The San Francisco Comic Art Shop,,” etc. Bad, long names. But we wanted to sound classy so we swiped (our friend) Phil Seuling’s “Comic Art Con” phrase. Then artist Bobby London created an Illustrated.sign for one of the stores, “Comics and Comix,” denoting both regular and ”undergound” comics…the name stuck and all the stores, seven in the end, adopted the name. Our logo was somewhat forgettable.

  6. You said it Bud. Unfortunately, that is how most businesses tend to get set up. Naming and design is at the bottom of the priority list, because it’s effects are not immediate. Most business don’t consider that they could expand, evolve and don’t really look ahead. Case in point…

    Up here, we have a successful chain called “Canadian Tire”. Over decades, they have expanded their offering but have been unable to shake off the association from “tires” because it’s embedded into their name. For the same reason Apple dropped “computers”, that’s why “Amazon” is such a great name… because it has nothing to do with books. As such, it was easy for them to quickly expand to become an online retailer.

    One could argue that Canadian Tire is still successful. True, but they are holed up in the discount segment of the market, competing only on price. Plus, they spend a small fortune trying to let people know that they have other stuff with taglines such as “There is a lot more to Canadian Tire than tires” or “There is a lot more for a lot less”.

    I think in your case, you’re a very integral part of your business. Comics have become a commodity and resources are probably limited so an active positive public persona will help to create value and generate a preference. Nothing wrong with a practical approach. However, looking ahead… it might still be worth while to try and create a separate identity for you business so that you can sell it down the road. Even if it’s only $10k for the name… that’s still $10k for having built up some goodwill over the years, which you’re doing anyways. Cheers Bud!

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