I see a lot of the logos and titles that I have drawn bubble up high in Google searches, and a lot of visitors to the blog come here looking specifically for them… so here’s another good one that I whipped up recently, the classic DC Comics Superman comic title logo!
I’m a longtime Superman fan, and this is one of the classic title logo designs that everyone recognizes and just looks really cool! I used it already in one of my comic strips as part of a parody too. I love creating these logos as closely as I can to the official ones. It’s good practice in various digital illustration techniques, plus I get a solid vector art creation that I can use for lots of other ideas down the road.
Remember, if you are interested in requesting my services as a Technical Illustrator, please use the Contact page and provide me with as much information as you can about your request.
People like my comic strips… and people have really liked my recent Technical Illustration posts… but one of the most consistently searched areas of my blog continues to be my logo and insignia work; in particular, my Spider-Man head and my Flash and Reverse Flash insignias. Check out my Comic Book Company Logos and Insignias post from last year to see what I’m talking about.
I attribute at least some of this popularity to the recent success the CW has had with shows like Flash and Arrow. So, never let it be said I don’t try and give people more of what they want! Here’s my rendition of a bust-style illustration of the Reverse Flash costume from the Flash TV show.
Your eyes are not deceiving you, by the way, there is no person inside the costume! I’m actually thinking of doing a series of bust illustrations in this style with various costume-only renditions. If you have a favorite character, please let me know and I’ll see if I can add it to my queue.
Remember, if you are interested in requesting my services as an Illustrator, please use the Contact page and let me know as much as you can about your request.
If you haven’t guessed by now, I am a long-time fan of Doctor Who. The only reason I haven’t watched every episode of the series is because of the tragic loss of so many of the earliest episodes of this long-running science-fiction show from the BBC. So over a period of a few days during the past week I decided to tackle creating some of my favorite logo designs from this show’s history.
The blue diamond logo design first showed up near the end of Jon Pertwee‘s tenure as the Doctor. It lasted until the next-to-last season of the Tom Baker era. The title sequence used the blue version, while the more colorful version has been used in various marketing and product offerings. If you look closely, there are slight differences beyond just the color changes.
Next up is the neon logo, introduced in Tom Baker‘s final season and used all the way to the end of Peter Davison‘s tenure. This is probably my favorite version of the show’s title design. It was more painful to draw than you might imagine, not because it was difficult but in order to get all the accents just right, I had to be painstakingly methodical about the way I constructed it.
Last, and I guess in some ways least… the title design from the Sylvester McCoy era. In the actual title sequence, this is a three-dimensional design that rotates. It’s actually kind of slick when you see the animation in action. I don’t hate this logo design by any means, I just don’t love it as much as the others in this post.
Let me know what you think!
I posted a bunch of comic book company logos and superhero insignias last September. Recently, I decided that I wanted a new online avatar for some of the forums I regularly visit, and it felt like the right time to whip up a few more and also post them on my blog. As I have said before, I really like having clean vector versions of these around because I can use them in lots of different ways and scale them to any size I need.
I really like the Superman S-shield design, and Superman is one of the most widely recognized of all the DC Comics characters. I’m also a big fan of the Wonder Woman eagle insignia too. Once I had created these, I realized it was insanely easy to also have a Bizarro Superman insignia as well!
I liked the Bizarro one so much, that I changed a bunch of my forum avatars to it last night! Please let me know what you think of these… and don’t forget to check out the ones I posted on my blog last year.
I’m currently in the design stage of a new comic strip, ‘Sects. I’m working up character designs and core concepts, but thought I could give you a sneak peek of the new logos I’ve created for this upcoming series.
The key idea for both logos is the use of the bee as an apostrophe in the title. Both logos will be used as there are some places that the cleaner text is necessary over the insect-styled second version.
As you might surmise, this will be a comic strip featuring insect characters. Please let me know what you think about these logo designs, and be sure to follow this blog so you can be here when I launch the official comic strip!
You might not think about it, but your signature can be a logo too. You can simply sign your name of course, and you should on legal documents… but many artists have a stylized form of their signature that they use to sign their finished works. If you have been following my blog since I appeared at the Raleigh Comic Convention back in August, you have seen scans of my sketches that include my signature logo.
For years I had been practicing variations on things that I liked. For a time I thought I might use a stylized version of my initials (SJV) in a design similar to the old Van Halen logo. It looked ok, and I was a fan of the band, but that didn’t really yield a signature that represented anything of myself. As I have said before, your logo represents you and at that point my concept did not adequately represent me.
I was always a good math and science student and was an Electrical Engineering major at NC State University, so in some ways it is odd that it took me as long as it did to come up with this design. It is simple and quite by accident very functional in communicating additional information beyond just who drew the picture.
The integral symbol represents my first initial, the root symbol represents my last initial, and the J fits snugly in there as a variable to the root function. As I settled upon this design and grew to like it, I discovered a happy accident… I could use the lower and upper limits for the integral symbol to represent the month and year, respectively.
So I ended up with a neat little signature logo that identifies me as well as when I completed the work. It also represents the analytical side of me as much as it represents the artistic side.
Do you have your own stylized signature logo design?
More playing around with my own logo designs… I’m actually surprised to have not seen something like this one before. I’m a fan of DC Comics’ Captain Marvel (Shazam!) character from way back before they owned him.
I cheated a little, because I already had a pretty good lightning bolt for this design from my Flash insignias… and I thought it would look good to use that as the Z in Shazam! Below are a 2D version and a 3D version. The 3D version is closer to what I would consider a final logo design that could just about be considered complete as presented here.
For anyone wondering… I also tried variations with the lightning bolt as an S instead of the Z… and even a design with both letters replaced with lightning bolts. Replacing both letters made the design way too busy, and use of the S instead of the Z really throws off the balance of the design, which works far better with the lightning bolt smack dab in the middle.
Here are some of the most common logo design questions that I have been asked. If you have any questions not covered by this FAQ please leave a reply to this post and I will try to give you a timely response. If you are interested in requesting my services as a logo designer, please use the Contact page and provide me with as much information as you can about your request.
What should a professional logo design cost?
You have probably seen the ads for “$50 Logo Design” and wondered if it was too good to be true. The answer is a definitive maybe. Without disparaging any particular artist or agency, here are reasons why you might want to steer clear of such an offer:
- They might use public domain clip-art to develop your logo. It means they can come up with a clean design fast, and you are perfectly legal in using public domain clip-art in your logo, but you will not be able to trademark your logo design if it incorporates clip-art.
- They only allow a couple of review/correction cycles. If everything is absolutely perfect out of the gate and they follow your directions precisely, then you might be ok… but you might also reach the end of your allotted revisions and find you either have to pay for incomplete work or have to pay a lot more for further design work, which means the initial price quote was misleading.
- They provide a limited selection for final image file types, usually a bitmap-only form like TIFF, PNG, JPG. A bitmap format can be fine if it is higher resolution than you ever need it to be in the manner in which you intend to use your logo… but if you need your logo scaled larger or a different color combination, you typically have to pay more and again for each additional scaled version or color change.
Reasonable pricing for a logo design depends on several factors, including how much design is necessary (do you know what you want or are you looking for the logo designer to figure that out) and how you intend to use it. A good logo designer is going to come up with several designs for you to choose from, and will design variations to accommodate the varied uses for your logo. He will also research to try and ensure your logo stands out from others in your area of business, doesn’t infringe on other existing designs, and doesn’t contain any components that would prevent you from trademarking your logo.
Professional logo design can take a lot of time and work. Depending on the complexity of your logo, it might cost more than you think but not more than it’s worth. Professional logo designers typically charge anywhere from $30-$250 per hour depending on their skill level, experience, and size of their published portfolio. A single logo might cost anywhere from $300-$5,000. Most logo designers also factor in the size and budget of the business requesting the logo, so smaller companies or individuals can probably find something on the lower end of the scale more easily than a large corporation.
Before the sticker-shock scares you off…remember your logo design represents you. I have lost count of the number of times I have been approached by someone who has already paid once or twice to one of those cheaper design companies for logos they cannot or don’t want to use and are now shopping around for their third or fourth logo designer price quote. For the amount they already paid a few times over for poor or unwanted designs, they usually could have had one good professional design done right the first time.
How much time will it take to design my logo?
A lot depends on the status of your design when you come to the logo designer. Do you have a solid and well-researched design concept already and mostly just need a professional to draw and tweak it a little? Do you actually already have a final logo design completed by someone else but you just need a different file format and perhaps minor changes to the design? You could conceivably go through the whole design process in just a few days with a few revision cycles if you and the logo designer are available to connect and re-work changes quickly. Basically, you’ll save money and have your logo quicker the more work you put in yourself before contacting the logo designer.
If, however, you basically just know that you need a logo or perhaps have some vague concepts of what you might like… that’s a whole new ballgame. A professional logo designer will want to spend time researching your company or product as well as similar companies or products that already exist. Current and past trends as well as potential future-thinking designs are considered and he should come up with at least a few different ideas for you to choose from. Be prepared that you might like none of these initial ideas and send the designer back to the drawing board, so it could take a couple of tries to get an idea you like when you start with no ideas at all.
Anywhere from a few days to a few months could be reasonable time from start to finish for a professional logo design.
What file formats should I ask for?
Ultimately it depends on how you intend to use the logo design. For many uses, a high-resolution bitmap format might be more than sufficient. However, I recommend you work with someone who will do as much of your design in a vector format as possible and will provide the original source when you pay for your final logo design.
If most or all of your work is in a vector format, it will be much easier later to scale to larger sizes if your future needs change from what you anticipate today and you will not need to go back to a logo designer and pay to have this done. It will also be easier to make minor design changes or create other color combinations from the original source.
Bitmap formats typically are TIFF, PNG, JPG, etc. and are useful for Web design or other places where you don’t need higher resolution than the format provides and don’t need to scale larger.
Vector formats typically are EPS, PDF, or source files like AI (Adobe Illustrator) or CDR (Corel Draw) and are imminently more flexible for any future design changes or scaling you might decide to do later.
You might be able to make these minor future changes yourself… or if you built a rapport with your logo designer and use him for other work or recommend others to use him, you might find he is willing to do minor changes like color or scaling for you in the future when you need it to keep you as a customer.
In my opinion, a professional logo designer should at minimum provide you with the original source file (such as AI or CDR), a high-resolution bitmap format (such as 300dpi or higher TIFF), and at least discuss with you options for other formats, sizes, or color combinations when finalizing the project.
For practice and enhancing my portfolio, I have many works-in-progress that are unsolicited, non-commissioned projects that I do just to keep the creative juices flowing. Of course if the parties involved like what I am doing and want to contact me for commissioned work based upon my prototype designs, they are more than welcome to do so!
With Duke University college football back to prominence the last couple of years, I started playing around with a concept to tweak their official logo with a little football flair:
I’ve had an idea in my head that I wanted to get a preliminary design done for an Avengers logo (based on the Marvel Comics title). It’s a variation on their traditional design where I wanted to see how it looks if you essentially merge the first two letters together:
The Avengers concept spawned a design idea for the Marvel Comics logo itself. Traditionally they go with fairly clean lettering so it is easy to read, but I wanted to see what some merging of boundaries between letters would do to the design. Here are a few color variations on this idea: