As with so many companies, the public doesn’t see the face of most superheroes. Unlike most companies, these masked defenders of the common good cannot put out press releases or embark on marketing campaigns. This means that they are left to explain important facts about themselves in a wordless format through their cartoon character logo. There is a lot to be learned about logo design from these simple, communicative logos superhero logos.
The Superman logo is perhaps the most recognizable of the superhero logos because of its simple, colorful design. However, don’t think that simple in this case means that there was no attention to detail. Although the triangular shape is upside down, it still represents strength, perhaps even more so because it is also the shape of the world’s strongest mineral, the diamond. The shape is also reminiscent of a strong male torso, so when it is placed on the hero’s shirt it emphasizes the muscular physique. The red and yellow are eye-catching and bold, while the bold letters with a serif font portray strength in yet another graphic way. Here is an interesting article about the history of the Superman logo.
This dark and mysterious superhero has a dark logo with an attention-getting yellow accent. The bat clearly represents the name of this dark hero. Unlike many superheroes, Batman doesn’t have any actual superpowers which is why an inclusive oval shape is a better choice for this logo than a shape hinting at supernatural abilities. Here is an interesting read on the 75-year evolution of the Batman logo.
The cleverly entwined double W’s represent the superwoman’s name, but they also form the shape of a bold, flying bird with spread wings. This is appropriate because the woman’s most oft-used superpower is the ability to fly. The shape also works well at the top of Wonder Woman’s shirt. The patriotic motif with red, white, and blue colors combined with stars is patriotic and ties directly into the superheroine’s mascot costume. The round shape is inclusive and appropriate for a gentler, female superhero. If you are interested in finding out more about the complicated history of Wonder Woman, here is a great article.
Again we see the red and yellow colors that make such an impact. The Flash’s incredible speed is well represented by these bold choices, while the lightning streak represents the superhero’s incredible speed. The pointy edges of the logo give a hard-edged image that is offset by the circular shape. The circle is a friendly shape, which portrays the community friendly aims of this speedy superhero.
This superhero has a logo in a predictable color—green. The central shape is a stylized lantern. If you look carefully, the lantern inside the outer white circle looks like a bulls-eye. The presence of several circles is inclusive and friendly, a common theme in superhero logos, but it all the more appropriate because the Green Lantern has a ‘power ring’ that is his chief tool. This logo is well recognized because it is so simple, without a lot of distracting detail. Sometimes the most basic logos are the most memorable and timeless.
This is the first superhero “family” to catch mainstream attention. The circle is appropriate for a family organization, while the word fantastic and the number four is clearly written, which is different from most superhero logos that prefer to represent the individual in a more graphic sense. However, with four separate characters, this task would be more difficult if not impossible due to the range of personalities and superpowers contained in the group. The logo has seen several different color palettes throughout its forty-plus years, but the current blue color scheme is calming and reflective.
This logo is modern and different from the many other logos, adding the gracefulness of a cat to the best principles of the logo. The circle reigns supreme again, and the color palette is a stark black and silver. The general shape is of a cat’s eye, but the off-center position gives it visual interest. The hard edges are sharp and weapon-like, while the 3-D appearance adds to the chilling nature of the logo. These elements combined make this a graceful yet slightly frightening image to represent this super-heroine.
This superhero has a somewhat hellish, frightening appearance which this logo portrays completely. The two entwined ‘D’s are attractive and symmetrical, while the red color and the flames refer to the character’s appearance as well as his hometown: the well known Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of New York City. The red color is also a color that demands action, which is appropriate for a superhero such as this one who acts impetuously. The thick letters with pointy edges add to the serious and not exactly friendly image.
This superhero doesn’t want a friendly image—his mission is to avenge his family members’ death by punishing bad guys and organized criminals everywhere. Everything else is merely a distraction. As such, his logo is hardly a friendly image. The sole image is a stylized skull with elongated teeth that add to the frightening impression. This psychologically disturbed superhero is slightly more frightening than the rest, and the logo shows this key difference clearly.
No discussion of superheroes would be complete without a section on the well known X-Men. This crime fighting group can be recognized simply by the ‘X’. The light in the center may represent the light of knowledge, as the group runs an institute for mutants like themselves. The grayscale color palette and relative lack of images make for a simple, memorable logo, while the way the ‘X’ letter is centered so it cannot be entirely seen gives a larger than life image that fits this group of superheroes well.
Every company wants their customers to view them as a superhero, a caring, benevolent presence that solves problems rather than causing them. If this is an especially important value to your company, you may want to consider using a superhero-like logo yourself. Regardless of the type of logo you need, there is a lot to be learned from these logos’ use of shape and color to communicate a message. If you would like to read more about the inspiration behind a lot of these superhero logos, here is an interesting article.