Looking over my movie collection, I’m frequently struck by the collection of eclectic logos on display. I’m not saying that as if that’s a product of my collection in specific. I’m sure that everyone’s movie collection, if they have one, has a wide range of logos on display.
They’re typically designed to be eye-catching. Logos try to communicate something about the work to which they’re attached. A glance should catch your eye, and keep it.
I come from the school that color should be secondary. I should be able to glance at a simple line drawing version of a logo and still “get the point,” as it were. I can look at the logo for Planet of the Apes in any color arrangement and it’s still indelibly right.
With Planet of the Apes, the elongated treatments of the vertical lines on the “L” and “P,” along with the all-caps and tight kerning, convey tension and something recognizable-yet-abnormal. The “E” joined to the “T” and “S” further convey something that I can recognize but isn’t what I expect.
The beloved Star Wars logo carries on this same sense of scale, but keeps its letters regimented and precise. It conveys energy and scale, too large to ignore and with horizontal lines that pull your focus out. This is a story on a grand scale, though it obviously owes a bit to the Apes logo.
The logo for Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight has letters set with imperfect alignments. The worn edges and splatters, hinting at the snowstorm and bloodshed at the center of the plot, capture danger and the rough, displeasing characters. It’s evocative of the Old West type that we’ve been inculcated to recognize over time, which subconsciously communicates when it’s set.
Of course, it proves that color can make a big difference, because if that “8” were also black it wouldn’t be as impactful. An exception that proves the rule, as it were.
But these are only a barest handful logos of the many, many that are out there. I’m not trying to position myself as any sort of expert, just going on about some logos that I love at this point.
The Question at Hand
Obviously this is all subjective. That’s how it works. If you love a movie, you’re likely to respond to its logo on an emotional scale and assessing it dispassionately is difficult.
Favorites come into play, along with personal preferences. I’m not going to attempt to answer the question on my own, because obviously it’s too big a topic for one person to tackle.
But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to give an honest read. You may even hate the logo for a movie that you love! Here’s looking at you, Manhunter.
So what are your favorite movie logos? Which ones work the best?
If you’re reading this, I’m legitimately interested what movie logos you think are great.
If you’re not reading this, I’m legitimately scared because…how are you in my thoughts?