Designing a Tangent: Behind the Logos

November 5th, 2014  Posted at   Parallel Lines: The DC Comics Tangent Universe Podcast

Earlier this week, I posted an interview with Rian Hughes, who conceived and designed the trade dress and logos for the DC Comics’ Tangent books in 1997. The also designed the logos for the 1998 wave and the more recent Superman’s Reign, with in-house designers echoing his styles for the trade dress on those books.

Rian was kind enough to share some long-unseen preliminary cover-design work as well as unused logo concepts for the books. Many, many thanks to Rian for sending and allowing me to post them.

First up are some cover-design roughs, which Rian talked more about in the interview:

Tangent cover design concept 2 Tangent cover design concept 3 Tangent cover design concept 4

When a designer is commissioned to create a logo, especially one that will be used to represent an entire product line, clients often want to see several concepts. And from a creative standpoint, it’s simply good process to design several concepts in order to work out the bugs in your own ideas. Here’s a look at several of Rian’s conceptsfor the Tangent line’s logo that ultimately were not used.

Tangent Comics unused logos 1 Tangent Comics unused logos 2 Tangent Comics unused logos 3 Tangent Comics unused logos 4 Tangent Comics unused logos 5

And finally, here is a look at some concepts and variations of logos from the first wave of books in 1997.

Tangent Wave 1 unused logos: Atom Tangent Wave 1 unused logos: Green Lantern Tangent Wave 1 unused logos: Flash
Tangent Wave 1 unused logos: Joker Tangent Wave 1 unused logos: Nightwing Tangent Wave 1 unused logos: Seret Six Tangent Wave 1 unused logos: Doom Patrol

And the 1998 wave:

Tangent Wave 2 unused logos: Batman Tangent Wave 2 unused logos: Superman Tangent Wave 2 unused logos: Wonder Woman
Tangent Wave 2 unused logos: Nightwing: Night Force Tangent Wave 2 unused logos: Power Girl Tangent Wave 2 unused logos: JLA

Thanks again to Rian for these great behind-the-scenes looks at the creative process. Rian’s hard work really helped establish not only a distinctive look for the books, but help embellish the overall concept, furthering the idea that the Tangent books were something special.

Don’t forget to visit his site, Device for more of Rian’s design and illustration portfolio.

Leave a Reply