Todd Klein’s Logo Studies: Our Favorite Looks at the Art of Lettering
For almost 30 years, Todd Klein has been one of the most prominent letterers and designers in comic books, working on everything from “Legion of Super-Heroes” to “Sandman.” He’s one of the true craftsmen of one of the most often-overlooked aspects of comics, and while it’s not surprising that he devotes a lot of time to discussing lettering and logo design on his website, the depth of information he presents and the entertaining way he does it is one of the true gems of the comics Internet.
Klein’s done dozens of Logo Studies on his site, where he not only talks about books he’s worked on, but shows off other designers’ work, even occasionally going back into the archives to find the original logos created by guys like Gaspar Saladino (who, with Gil Kane, did the Green Lantern logo above). They’re great pieces that trace the evolution of a particular character or comic’s logo as it evolves — sometimes over as much as 70 years — showing how design and the lettering process evolved over time, and while it’s worth your time to check them all out, we’ve got a few favorites.
Justice League International has 26 letters. Justice League Europe has 19 letters. Justice League Quarterly and Justice League Task Force both have 22 letters. On March 4, 1996 art director Georg Brewer offered the JLA logo to me; you can imagine how happy I was to have just three letters to design.
Here’s the original logo from the DC files, and I have to say, it’s not one of Schnapp’s better ideas. While the letterforms reach for interest with odd shapes and sizes, they never grasp it, in my opinion. The small S looks particularly odd to me, and the whole logo is rather a mess.
The site’s full of great stuff like that, and whether you’re really into reading up on the process of making comics or not, it’s genuinely engaging stuff that’s often pretty fun to see as well.