Superhero logos: their evolution over time

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Along with their costumes, their logos are undoubtedly a hallmark for each superhero.

Colours, letters and shapes: all of these elements contribute to give an attitude according to the characteristics of the character with which they are linked.

These symbols, besides being aesthetically attractive and unique, can also teach us something about design and branding. Below, we have examined the evolution and history of some of the most famous superhero logos.

Superman

Superman’s is the first superhero logo to have been officially registered as a brand. In 1945, in fact, it was launched on the market for lucrative purposes, for the production of commercial     products of all kinds, particularly t-shirts.

Its colours convey a sense of strength and confidence as well as being inspired by the two planets to which the superhero is linked: red is inspired by Roa, Krypton’s sun, Superman’s planet of origin; while the yellow the Earth’s sun, the star from which the hero draws his powers. The distinctive “S” belonging to DC comics most famous hero, appeared in 1938 thanks to the creative inspiration of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, although it was not too successful because of the excessive resemblance to a police badge.

After several modifications, it became famous for its diamond shape that, set on a muscular   thorax, conveys courage, strength and endurance.

In 2013 the “S” underwent further modifications, taking on a form that represents the Kryptonian symbol for hope.

superhero-logo-superman

Captain America

Captain America differs from Superman because he is a “terrestrial” hero, who is extremely patriotic, made clear by the colours of his logo, his costume and obviously his name.

The superhero’s shield was originally triangular, but after complaints to Marvel by rivals MLJ publisher for the excessive resemblance with their creation “The Shield”, the shape became circular.

The concentric red, white and blue circles, as well as representing the colours of the American flag, also symbolize infinity, power and energy. The central star gives a further patriotic touch to the design as a whole.

logo-superhero-captain-america

Wonder Woman

While Wonder Woman’s symbol was a generic eagle, after DC decided to invest heavily on Batman, Superman as well as Wonder Woman, they had to create a customized logo for the latter. Milton Glaser’s creative genius, who was asked to create a distinctive symbol of the character, also included some patriotic elements.

The result was a stylized symbol which includes the heroine’s distinctive traits such as flying ability and a clear reference to the eagle, Wonder Woman’s first symbol and the distinctive emblem of the United States.

superhero-logo-wonder-woman

Batman

As can be seen in the image below, Batman’s logo is the one that has undergone the most

restyling and changes over time, while keeping the iconography of the bat intact.

In the same way as Superman’s, the pectoral muscles are emphasized, but it also has a practical function: requesting the services of the superhero from any corner of Gotham City, thanks to the help of a giant projector, which projects it into the city’s skies.

This hero’s logo is perfectly in line with the characteristics and attitude of the character, proving to be perfectly centred, even from the point of view of branding: dark, mysterious and       threatening, destined to incite fear in criminals.

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Spider-man

Like Batman’s, the logo belonging to this particularly beloved Marvel character has undergone several changes over the years, without ever losing contact with the spider, arachnid to which Spider-man is inextricably linked.

At the time of its appearance in the Amazing Fantasy comic, the logo design was rounder and much more of a “cartoon” style.

Over the years the changes have been linked to the evolution of the character, as when Peter Parker “merges” with the Symbiote to give life to the completely black version of his suit, thus maintaining the symbol up to date and in line with the narrative events in Spiderman.

Even the spider’s design has changed considerably over time, especially with regard to the longer and narrower legs.

logo-superhero-spiderman

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