Monday, April 30, 2012

Anatomy of a Logo: The Ring of the Nibelung, Part 1

On August 3, 1989, I had a meeting at DC Comics with editor Andy Helfer and designer Curtis King to discuss a logo for the four-part mini-series, The Ring of the Nibelung, a graphic novel adaptation of Richard Wagner's opera by Roy Thomas and Gil Kane. In the title, “The Ring” was to be larger than “of the Nibelung”. We decided on blackletter for the logo and a circular design for the cover.

Back at my studio, I did a couple of preliminary sketches, then looked at some type catalogues for a font. Initially I settled on Wilhelm Klingspor Gotisch and Goudy Text. On one sketch I made a note to look at Bradley, which I used in an earlier project.

I few days later I received fax of the cover design, which had the diameter of the circle, positions of the DC bullet in the upper lefthand corner and the subtitle and credits. The squiggly lines represent background art.

I assembled six versions of the logo: four with the Wilhelm Klingspor Gotisch and Goudy Text fonts, and two with Bradley. These designs were faxed to Keith Wilson.

A few days later, Keith relayed comments from Andy and Curtis. Bradley was the preferred font, and the whole title should be on an arc. I sketched the logo with a modified “T”, which was based on the Wilhelm Klingspor Gotisch version. There were two versions of the “R”. The “G” was altered to connect to the curved bar. The dot on the “I” was changed, too. Finally, I drew a bold version of the logo.

On August 31, I faxed three designs to Keith.

(Tomorrow: Part 2. Currently, the Metropolitan Opera is in the middle of its three Ring cycles; Neal Adams illustration for the 1990 Ring of the Nibelung)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Anatomy of a Logo: Moebius' Airtight Garage, Part 2

A few days later, Marie called and said Jean-Marc wanted to use design number one. The “OE” ligature in Moebius was to be split into separate letters.

I enlarged the sketch and drew red guide lines for the width, height and weight of the letters.

In the word “AIRTIGHT”, the “GH” also contains the “GE” combination. When I finished inking “GARA”, I repositioned the paper and aligned “GARA” with “GE” and completed the inking.

Tight rendering of “Moebius” before final inking.

Photocopies of the finished “Airtight Garage” with various shadow effects, which were faxed to Marie.

Final logo art was done on LetraMax 2000 paper, and delivered August 31, 1992. The hairline between the “I” and “R” is a cut-line; the spacing between the letters was tightened.

Faxes of four cover images but only two were used; the printed covers for issues one through three; issue four can be viewed at the Grand Comics Database.

You can read more about Marie here; her comic book credits are at the Grand Comics Database. Jean Giraud aka Moebius passed away March 10, 2012.

(Next post on Monday)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Anatomy of a Logo: Moebius' Airtight Garage, Part 1

On August 4, 1992, Epics Comics editor Marie Javins called to see if I was available to work on a Moebius logo. I said, "Yes." She said Jean-Marc Lofficier asked for me. Minutes later, my fax machine churned out Moebius artwork selected for the covers of the four-issue mini-series. The next day I started work on the logo.

Thinking of automobile chrome logos.

Pseudo-psychedelic lettering.

A few letters with hints of the Art Deco style.

On August 7, these six designs were faxed to Marie.

(Tomorrow: Part 2)