Tuesday, August 4, 2015

FF Week #10--A Brief History of The Fantastic Four Logo!

And now, a tiny overview of the logos that have adorned The World's Greatest Comic Magazine over the years.

When the Fantastic Four debuted in 1961, this is what the logo looked like:

Now, I'm no expert in graphic design or the like, but I have to be honest--I never cared for that logo. A little too cartoony, a little too undisciplined, a little too much of a child-like scrawl. I know that puts me in the minority. Blame my poor taste.

Eventually they added a "drop shadow" to the logo, which I do think improved it somewhat:

I will concede one benefit of that logo: Cover artists could move that "Four" around, making it fit the cover art better. It was a "floating" Four, text justification be damned!

In 1972, this became the new logo:

That wasn't around for long, though, as in 1975 this debuted:

That was always my favorite--although I'll readily admit that it's just because it was the logo that was used when I started buying the FF, so it's burned into my memory engrams.

5 years later, Marvel went back to the original...

...with one original wrinkle: not only would the "Four" float from side to side as the art demanded, but occasionally it would jump up to the first line to join "Fantastic" when the artist wanted even more room:

The logo stayed that way for 22 years (!!)--even through the Heroes Reborn disaster--until there was a slight variation for a series of four covers in 2002:

But they went back to the original immediately, until the Waid/Wieringo run later that year:

That one lasted a year and a half, but in 2004, it was back to the original (albeit sometimes with raised edges around the letters instead of a drop shadow):

The original stuck around until the Millar/Hitch run, when they adapted a whole cover trade dress that supposedly resembled a gossip magazine.

That conceit was about as successful as that particular run on the series was...*cough cough*

When Hickman took over in 2009, it was back to the classic late 1070s:

When the Torch "died" and the team rebranded itself as the Future Foundation, this was their logo for the run:

And of course, when the Torch came back to life (because comics), it was back to the 70s for the rest of the run.
When the Fraction/Bagley run began, they went back to the early 70s style, with a different font:

Until the last issue of the run, when it was back to the original:

The companion book, FF, had a nice simple logo, using the font of the original:

For the Robinson/Kirk run, they adopted this stylized disaster:

I hate the font, the attempt to use the "4" as an "A" is annoying, and the way the "C" blends into the top white bar makes the "IC' look like a "K" that's been cut off. And really, who wants "FANT4STK" as your title?

For the final three issues, though, they did a reverse countdown of the original three logos...clever:

And that brings us to the Fantastic Four logo that Marvel is using today:

Uh, hello? Marvel?!? Hello?!?!

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