In his early twenties, Rian Hughes designed the logo for Forbidden Planet. It has been used ever since and is a widely iconic image. He didn’t get paid royalties but he did get a 30% off Forbidden Planet discount card which, he says, has paid him more in money saved than any other job he has ever done.
Hughes is a comic book writer and artist, an illustrator and typographer with all three careers rarely crossing, and has distinct and separate reputations and fanbases in all three fields. But he is putting together a book that combines two of them, with thousands of comic book logos designed, many still being used today. For Marvel, DC, Image, Dark Horse, Valiant, IDW, his logos can be seen adorning a good proportion of comics in the stands. And, after what he says took talking to over 100 different publishers, he has put as many logos as he can into one book, alongside many that didn’t make the cut in a hardcover volume packed with images, designs and inside stories called Logo-A-Gogo, with a foreword from Grant Morrison.
Rian brought a proof copy to the pub last night, and it was wonderful to see, so much of his work, so familiar with us all. Standouts had to be Bitch Planet, The Eagle Wards, I Hate Fairyland, X-O Manowar, Outcast, Batman & Robin, The Return Of Bruce Wayne, Archaia, Strange Tales, Wednesday Comics, The Invisibles, Marvel Universe Vs The Punisher, Third Person, James Bond 007, reworking the Marvel logo itself, but there are so, so many to choose from.
Of course, some dashed to find their own logos – and see the one that their editors rejected.
The book is intended to be published next year, in April, and from what I’ve seen, it works as both a cultural record of the comic book industry at a certain time, through the eyes of one person involved in one very specific aspect of their creation.
As to his one bugbear? While he says it is rare in comic books for a logo designer to be credited, and he doesn;t have a real problem with that, he does find it annoying when the comics are collected as trade paperbacks and hardcovers which do generally credit the logo designed – only for that credit to be given to the person who designed the collection, and not the logo that appears on the front that originally appeared on the comic!
The book will be published in April 2018 with a foreword from Grant Morrison, with whom Rian created the Dare comic book for Revolver which I read in wonder as a young lad. Revolver had a damn fine logo too…
For more than 20 years, Rian Hughes has been a versatile designer, illustrator and lettering artist working for international clients in the fields of publishing, music, sports, telecommunications, fashion and more. He has specialized in creating logo designs for the comic industry, notably for DC and Marvel products, including Batman and Robin, Batgirl, the X-Men, Captain America, Wolverine, The Spirit, The Invisibles, Shade the Changing Man, and The Atom. He has also designed logos for posters, CDs, and clothing, and produced branding for clients such as Hasbro, the Cartoon Network, Virgin Airways, Eurostar, and the BBC. This compendium is packed full of the best of his logo designs and offers an insight into the creative process behind his work. Preliminary sketches are shown alongside the final design, and accompanied by author commentary. An essential reference for designers to draw on in branding and other graphic design projects, the book will also fascinate anyone interested in contemporary culture. This is as good as it gets for those looking for a source of cool and inspirational logo design.
Thanks to Smakk99 for correcting the misspelling.