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Although some websites prefer not to use sources, it is our policy at The Beat to link away. Thus we can confirm that it is indeed true that Warners has applied for trademark registry on a new logo, as you can see above.

The trademark is in black and white so that any color can be applied. “Color is not claimed as a feature of the mark. The mark consists of the letter “D” flipping back to reveal the letter “C” and DC ENTERTAINMENT.”

To be honest, when we first thought this, we suspected it was a new logo for DC shoes.

But no.

As others have commented, this “peel back” logo makes the much-mocked swish — introduced in 2005 — look like the Milton Glaser-designed original in terms of readability.

In other words: we hates it.

While the filing in itself does not mean that all DC products will soon carry this logo — perhaps it is only provisional — a partial list of categories that the logo is trademarked for makes you think, yes, they are serious.

DC DC ENTERTAINMENT Goods and Services IC 030. US 046. G & S: Cookies, bases for making milkshakes, breakfast cereal, bubble gum, cake decorations made of candy, chewing gum, frozen confections, crackers, frozen yogurt, ice cream, pretzels, peanut butter confectionery chips, malt for food; soybean malt; malt biscuits; sugar confectionery, namely candy, candy bars, candy mints, candy coated and caramel popcorn, and candy decorations for cakes; edible decorations for cake; rice cakes; pastilles; pastries; biscuits and bread; coffee beverages with milk; cocoa beverages with milk, chocolate-based beverages, coffee and coffee-based beverages, cocoa and cocoa-based beverages; tea, namely, ginseng tea, black tea, green tea, oolong tea, barley and barley-leaf tea; meat tenderizers for household purposes; binding agents for ice-cream Mark Drawing Code

Goods and Services IC 029. US 046. G & S: Processed and dried vegetables; processed and dried fruits, processed ginseng; raisins, fruit salads, fruit jellies, marmalade; preserved onions, preserved olives; crystallized fruits; vegetable and fruit juices for cooking; jams, chocolate nut butter, cocoa butter and peanut butter; canned fruits and vegetables; pickles; soybean-based food beverage used as a milk substitute; frozen fruits and vegetables; potato chips; processed and dried meat; meat; milk; seafood; and margarine Mark Drawing Code

Goods and Services IC 021. US 002 013 023 029 030 033 040 050. G & S: Glass, ceramic and earthenware goods, namely, bowls, plates, coffee cups, and cups; beverage glassware, namely, jugs, mugs and drinking glasses; sugar and creamer sets; infant cups; cookie jars; ceramic, glass and china figurines; toothbrushes; non-electric coffee pots not of precious metal; lunch boxes; lunch pails; wastepaper baskets; ice buckets; plastic buckets; shower caddies; cake molds; serving utensils, namely, pie servers, cake turners, spatulas, scrapers, and cake servers; canteens; plastic coasters; thermal insulated containers for food or beverages; cookie cutters; cork screws; water bottles sold empty; decanters; drinking flasks; gardening gloves; rubber household gloves; and dinnerware, namely, paper plates and paper cups

Services IC 024. US 042 050. G & S: Bath linens, namely, bath towels and wash cloths; bed linens, namely; bed blankets, bed canopies, bed pads, bed sheets, bed spreads, pillow cases, comforters, duvet covers, mattress covers, dust ruffles, blankets, throws, crib bumpers, and pillow shams; textile wall hangings; curtains; draperies; cotton, polyester and/or nylon fabric; linen; kitchen linens, namely, barbecue mitts, cloth napkins, dish cloths, fabric table cloths, kitchen towels, fabric place mats, oven mitts, washing mitts, fabric table runners, pot holders and cloth coasters; handkerchiefs, quilts, and golf towels

Would you wear oven mitts emblazoned with this logo?

Seriously now.

The range of products being filed for suggests to us that maybe this is just for tags or something.

Oi, if only.


  1. When the DC swoosh was introduced, it looked generic, but at at least it looked dynamic.

    To me, this just looks dull. Not exactly ideal for an entertainment company.

    Also, it only works if you have shading available. Not so great if you need to print it in line art somewhere, or want it easily recognizable by its silhouette. Like, say, on the tag on a Superman beach towel.

  2. Man. This is on par with the attempted Gap rebranding and the new Pepsi logo (which is to say, terrible).

    It says *nothing* about DC. What does the peel mean? Is it meant to be a page turn, even though there are no corners?

  3. what a catastrophe of branding. Total brand confusion and just blah overall.

    With all the A-list design firms and corporate branding specialists in NYC, this is the best they could come up with? Did they just decide to not spend any money on this?

  4. Even when they add color, this logo will still scream bland. I suspect 2012 will be last year some folks will be employed at DC after some of their recent announcements. Holy crap this sucks.

  5. Many, many years ago, when I was still working with DC as an Art Director, there was an informal (though still official) project to redesign or replace the DC Bullet. This was one of an occasional series of such initiatives that never seemed to get anywhere.

    I remember that Milton Glaser’s studio had been commissioned to do a redesign (of Glaser’s original, despised-at-the-time DC Bullet) — we referred to this as having come from “Milton Glaser’s studio” because the results were so disappointing they couldn’t possibly have come from Milton Glaser himself. After that, a few of us on staff were asked to come up with concepts and sketches. (I think I still have the giant sketch pad with mine in my attic.)

    It was easy to work off the basic shapes of the “D” and the “C” (and I’m sure I did plenty of those kinds of sketches) but I always felt that the logo ought to reflect “comics” in some way. Granted, this was long before DC Comics became “DC Entertainment,” and the intentions behind the logo became more generic than they had been, so perhaps a solution like this proposed one isn’t completely out-of-bounds.

    I’m not all that impressed with it, though. I still think a logo that’s going to be used primarily on comics ought to reflect that heritage in some way (even if mostly as a reflection of the previous one). I’m not terribly fond of the current mark (less so when paired with the “DC Comics” type), but at least there’s a sense of energy and movement to it. This kinda strikes me as a generic too-clever-for-it’s-own-sake treatment that could be applied to almost anything.

    (The trademark filing doesn’t necessarily mean it will definitely, *really* be deployed — but then again, you never know.)

  6. The fact that the logo needs to be explained (“you see, the D was hiding the C”) indicates that it will have difficulty finding traction as a recognizable trademark.

  7. Hey Brian Pearce! Long time no hablas! Totally agree on this design…it reminds me of wallpaper that’s outlived its usefulness and is beginning to peel away from the drywall in the heat.

  8. The current logo is known as the “DC Spin”.

    Is this the “DC Peel”?
    I think this will be used for the corporate division, not for any particular public branding.

    I like the DC Spin, especially when animated. The typefaced name: UGH.

    I’ve heard that DC filed a trademark suit against DC shoes (both make apparel), but then DC shoes realized that DC Comics hadn’t done the paperwork, and sued DC Comics for infringing on their trademark. So Warners had to pay DC Shoes to use the trademark.

    Not as embarrassing as the Matrix/Helix snafu, but close.

    Logo history is found here:

    Brainchild has designed many logos for DC. There’s a PDF portfolio online. (And the DC media guide for advertisers and licensees!)

  9. “Did anyone but me get the in-joke that the font is Gotham?”

    It’s not eye-catching, dynamic or suggestive of comics, but it’s got an IN-JOKE.

  10. Okay, I’ve been goofing on this dumb-looking thing as much as anybody else (just go check some of the other boards). But after being reminded that fans had similar opinions when the Bullet was introduced, it made me wonder: Has there ever been a comic book company (not character or title) logo that anybody liked when it was introduced?

    Nobody liked the Spin. Nobody liked the Bullet. I don’t think anybody has liked any Marvel logo at introduction since it was founded.

    What comic book company rebranding has gone over well? Just curious.

  11. The clever aspects of the mark just disguise the fact (in my opinion) that it’s been made to serve to such a wide range of products and uses that it has lost any personality or narrative. Of course in the comics world, everyone likes to dog-pile on if ANYTHING ever changes, but in this case, this looks like a very very generic mark, and that no one really fought for making this mark represent a comic company, an entertainment company, a movie company, any of those. It’s sad, because there are huge companies that have to appeal to huge demographics that have evocative, timeless marks.

    The DC Swoosh mark looked like the designer had been staring at too many video games; this one looks like the designer’s been staring at too many website button designs. We don’t have to be a slave to the past, but there were some good basics that still have a place in graphic design, no matter when it’s done.

  12. I can see the meeting now: “Kids today use protective stickers on their media tablets, so this will say we are the colorful, unprotected content underneath! They are downloading already!” sighs

    I wonder if the new logo can write, draw, or act?

  13. Also speaking as a former AD at DC (Hi Brian)…
    I used to think that ANYTHING would look better than the current BURGER KING and/or SNEAKERS-looking “spin”.

    I stand corrected.

  14. In the online coupon world, these are known as “peelies,” as in “peel to reveal” a coupon code. I kind of like the term “DC Peelie” – but I don’t like the logo. The bullet was better.

  15. if this logo is supposed to convey a comic book (and toys, animation, etc.) company’s sense of wonder, fun, and cool, it fails on every level. monetta got it right on the money, it looks “depressingly corporate”.

  16. Aside from a flipping comic, it makes me think of the whole social media sticker trend.

    Yeah. Cause that is what DC Comics is about! Passing net fads, not iconic and timeless heroes and logos. Brilliant.

    This has got to be a mistake.
    There’s no way DC thinks this works on any level.
    There’s no way this is a logo for any division of DC
    What the hell?

    I’m guessing maybe it’s for some internet only thing. DC jumping on that whole sticker thing.
    That’s the only thing I can comprehend.
    Though even then why not make it their regular logo peeling back?

  17. >> Nobody liked the Spin. Nobody liked the Bullet.>>

    Just to offer up one counter-example — I thought the DC Bullet was a massive improvement when it debuted, making all of DC’s line suddenly look modern, bolder and less cluttered. Liked it then, like it now.

  18. With apologies to David Letterman, here are The Top 10 reasons ‘Why DC thinks this new logo is awesome’:

    10) When you seal it, it burps.

    9) Money saved on ‘professional’ logo design can be used for Jim Lee fill-in artists.

    8) Just imagine how it’ll look on a condom!

    7) It reboots the logo with no ties to the old logo universe.

    6) When unfolded, it reveals the ‘Playmate of the Month’.

    5) It doesn’t remind people about those ‘silly comic books’.

    4) Dick Clark promises not to sue.

    3) The digital version will cost a dollar more.

    2) The ‘D’ tastefully keeps the nipple covered.

    And the Number One reason ‘Why DC thinks this new logo is awesome’:

    It perfectly ties into DC’s new slogan: ‘Just peel and eat’.

  19. Aw, but if you actually link to your sources, how can you pretend to have soooper-secret sources that nobody else has access to? How can you fill out your baseless rumors heard third-hand from a guy-in-a-pub with actual events that turn out to be right if you advertise that the “good” articles are well-sourced from publicly available information while the dodgy ones are just crap you make up to get hits and keep people coming back?

    On the other hand – your link is busted. The US PTO doesn’t let you link that way, so a screenshot and a description of the search terms to find it would be a better way to link to the source. Still, the attempt is appreciated. It’s like you’re actually attempting to do journalism and inform people rather than just generate hits.

    As for the new logo – who cares? I mean, I guess a lot of people care but it’s a lousy corporate logo – from the company that just changed Superman’s costume. Once you go down that route, you can’t exactly be surprised that the folks in charge don’t understand what an iconic image is or how to use them.

  20. Bad logo. I have designed wordmarks and logos and have art directed others when they have designed them too. And this is bad.

    I see a grey tongue. Then I see an attempt to integrate the “please turn electronic page” symbol.

    Now, since this is soooo bad, we get into the “let’s see what else you came up with” stage, where the client (we, the customers) try to solve the problem for the agency.

    So, what else did you come up with?

  21. If you go to the Patent/Trademark website and put ‘DC’ in the search area (or ‘DC Entertainment’ or ‘DC Comics’), you’ll find what was posted above. The one I found at had this:

    Goods and Services IC 041. US 100 101 107. G & S: Entertainment services, namely, providing online video games, providing online computer games, providing temporary use of non-downloadable video games; Production of video and computer game software; entertainment services in the nature of live-action, comedy, drama, animated, and reality television series; production of live-action, comedy, drama, animated and reality television series; distribution and display of live-action, comedy, drama and animated motion picture theatrical films; production of live-action, comedy, drama and animated motion picture theatrical films; theatrical performances both animated and live action; Internet services providing information via an electronic global computer network in the field of entertainment relating specifically to games, music, movies, and television; providing a web site featuring film clips, photographs and other multimedia materials; providing news about current events and entertainment, and information related to education and cultural events, via a global computer network; and providing information for and actual entertainment via an electronic global communications network in the nature of live-action, comedy, drama and animated programs and production of live-action, comedy, drama and animated motion picture films for distribution via a global computer network; providing a computer game that may be accessed by a telecommunications network; and electronic publishing services, namely, publication of text and graphic works of others on-line featuring articles, novelizations, scripts, comic books, strategy guides, photographs and visual materials; amusement parks services; amusement park rides; live or pre-recorded shows and/or movies; entertainment and/or recreation information; entertainment club services
    Design Search Code 20.03.09 – Pads, Writing; Paper, note; Paper, stacks of sheets; Tablets, paper
    Serial Number 85509981
    Filing Date January 5, 2012
    Current Filing Basis 1B
    Original Filing Basis 1B
    Owner (APPLICANT) DC COMICS Warner Communications Inc., a Delaware corporation, and E.C. Publications, Inc., a New York corporation PARTNERSHIP NEW YORK 1700 Broadway New York NEW YORK 10019
    Attorney of Record Janet A. Kobrin
    Description of Mark Color is not claimed as a feature of the mark. The mark consists of the letter “D” flipping back to reveal the letter “C” and DC ENTERTAINMENT.
    Type of Mark SERVICE MARK
    Register PRINCIPAL
    Live/Dead Indicator LIVE

  22. An epic failure on the level of the NBC ‘logo’ from the 70s. Although, it is convenient to stamp this on everything starting at the same time as pretty much everything else from DC starts to suck ass… to mark the transition from the Paul Levitz “boss who actually knows and loves comics” era to the Diane Nelson “corporate stooge-lets please the stockholders no matter what-‘superman-who?'” era.

    This, as someone noted in another thread, also is a nice symbol of a company that has taken the worse of the 90s (IMAGE) and is now forcing that onto its once proud heritage. This is the company THAT NOW FEATURES ROB LIEFELD ON THREE BOOKS, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!!!!!!

  23. No, this is not on the level of the NBC logo. That exact mark was in use by Nebraska Educational Television, and a decent trademark search should have uncovered that. NBC got off easy… some money and equipment paid to NTV, a few editorial cartoons, and everyone forgot. Years later, they crossed it with the peacock.

    The Spin… yes, that’s a big mistake. Again, searching for apparel trademarks should have uncovered that. ESPECIALLY when the company is called “DC shoes”!

    (How much money is Warners paying them?)

    Then there’s the “Matrix Comics” mistake… but that line doesn’t exist anymore (the few successful series have been folded into Vertigo).

    Logos that don’t suck?
    Dark Horse (old “Chess” logo and the new “Maverick” version)
    Image “I”
    IDW “lightbulb”
    The Marvel “M” from the 80s worked well.
    Piranha Press
    Paradox Press

  24. I think if I were DC – at least for DC Comics and related properties, anyway – I’d want to focus on … recognizable things. Like the Superman/Batman logo, or the trinity version from the series a couple years ago. Stick it over ‘DC COMICS’ or ‘DC ENTERTAINMENT’ as the case may be.

    (Not sure it works for ‘DC NON-ELECTRIC COFFEEPOTS OF NON-PRECIOUS METAL’, but hey, they could use the peelable one for that.)

    Having said that, completely changing their logo dramatically every few years kinda undermines the brand awareness…

  25. My take on DC Logos:

    The ‘Converse’— Classic Silver-Age iconography. With the earliest versions highlighting the central importance of Superman in the mythos.

    The ‘Bullet’— Modern-Age updating. Odd decision to slant the D and the C to the left, and the 4 stars skewed, seemingly unbalanced.

    The ‘Swoosh’— The New Brand branding. The Anti-‘Bullet’, the D and C now slanted towards the right, stodgy old circle now a star-tramped-stamped halo.

    The ‘Sticker’— The New Nu52 re-branding. Corporate minimalism at it’s dullest, as befit just another cog in a Conglomerate machine.
    [Curious: was this design focus-group tested at ALL??]

  26. The tilt of “The Bullet” gives it dynamics. Consider the logo if it were situated cardinally…. boring.

    “The Spin” (it’s official name) is well designed, animates well, and is even more dynamic, implying motion. It modernizes The Bullet, while updating the various elements.

    “The Peel” (my moniker) fails on so many levels. Can it be colored, or printed as line art? What is the style guide? A square logo like this doesn’t work well with text beneath… it usually needs text to run to the right. (The text that is shown would work well as two rows.) A square logo (and any iconic logo) must be legible by itself. If you can’t discern what the company is, the logo fails.

    This fails, and it’s a big failure, because the company (DC Comics) has so many iconic emblems and does such a good job creating new ones. (See: Flashpoint buttons)

    It’s an even bigger failure: there are only two letters in the company name, and this logo cannot be read as “DC”. The “D” isn’t a “D”… there’s no hole in the gray peel back letter, it’s just a curved square. The “D” should be black, so that the eye is tricked into seeing the implied “D” while also seeing the “C”.

    Here’s an example of a style sheet that works:
    (Click back a page for the history… that current logo has been used since 1977!)

    My suggestion for DC? Go symbolic, just like your superheroes. It works for Adidas (used since 1971), Apple (variations since 1976), AT+T (1969+, 1983+), Minolta (1981+), Playboy…

    How many t-shirts has DC sold of just logos? Batman, Superman, Green Lantern (plus the other colors), Flash, Legion… Make something iconic, something members of the DC Nation can wear with pride, something that can be seen from a distance, something Marvel doesn’t have. (Marvel has almost no iconic logos.)

    Oh, and DC should have done this shortly after DCE was announced. Or when the New 52 was announced.