22 January 2012

What the Don Heck is this thing?

 The above image is one of several images that have been causing a bit of buzz around teh comics intronets over the past week or so.  For those of you that keep up with the comics news like I do, you already know that it is part of a new branding re-launch/re-boot/re-excuse-to-spend-a-lot-of-money-so-that-some-jerk-in-some-board-room-can-say-they-actually-did-something-in-the-first-quarter-of-the-year of one of the many divisions of one of the world's largest media empires.

But just what exactly is the thing?

I asked my nine year old daughter what it is.  Keep in mind, my daughter is very smart.  She said that it is the letter C wrapped in a spring and stuck inside an envelope.

My first instinct was to think that it has a bit of a rubber fetish look about it.  Like something that might be used to sell condoms or whips.  But I'll go with a C wrapped in a spring stuck in an envelope.

Now, this is the year 2012 so one image alone can not re-launch a brand.  You have to have lots of variations for every occasion and it has to be animated and do magical things on cell pad pod phones.  So, there are lots of variations on the new logo/icon.  Let's take a look at another.
I asked my daughter what she thought this one was and she said it was the letter C with some sparkly smokey stuff on it in an envelope.

Yeah.  That is exactly what it is.

But what is it supposed to be?  What brand does it represent?  What is it supposed to sell?
Let's get rid of the effects and the big black void and look at the image in its most basic form.
That's better.  Now we can see its primary elements.  Ignoring the negative space, this image is made up of three elements. 
This is the letter C.  Actually, it is less than half of a letter C.  But the human brain is an amazing thing and through the magic of eyeballs and brain interaction, the brain can fill in the missing part and almost instantly tell  you, the brain transport and feeding mechanism, that the image represents the letter C.
This is a... flap?  Or is it really?  I mean, when you see it on its own it does not really read as a flap.  Kind of looks like a leaf.  It does not look like any letter of the alphabet so I'm not sure how it is supposed to be read  as part of a brand logo/icon.  
Now this, this is nothing.  It is certainly not a letter.  It kind of looks like a boot.  Or maybe a half-assed crescent moon. 

So, between the three elements, the only thing the human eyeballs to brain interface can read is the letter C.  So, I assume the name of this media empire subdivision, probably starts with the letter C.

There are certainly not any other letters in that image.  Nothing like, oh say... the letter D.  Nope, not a damned D in there anywhere.  

But what I've shown you is not the entirety of the new branding.  It also has some text.  Let's take a look.
Oh, this new logo/icon is for our good pals at DC Comics.  Good thing they put that text under the image so that we can read what the logo/icon is totally incapable of demonstrating.

I want you to understand that at this moment my eyes are rolling back in my head so hard that my back is completely arched over the back of my chair to the point that the top of my head is resting on the floor.  It hurts.  My insurance company will probably deny the claim. 

If you need words to explain what your brand logo/icon is then your brand logo/icon has failed.  
Yes folks, this image of a C in an envelope is to be used to brand a company that may or may not be publishing comic books called DC Comics.  And everyone involved in pulling the trigger on the creation of this logo/icon probably got paid more to do it than you and I will make in the next five years.  

This is me shaking my head back and forth until I have a seizure. 

Your best pal ever,

Shannon Smith

* DC publicity images totally stolen from the fine people at The Beat.  Don't go changin' The Beat.

p.s.  Say you want a leader but you can't seem to make up your mind.  I think you'd better close it and let me guide you to my twitter feed.
p.p.s. Let's pretend we went to high school together on facebook.
p.p.p.s. Google + is another place you can read the same thing I posted here.
p.p.p.p.s. I'll tumblr for ya.
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