Rebranding is never easy. A company's visual identity is extremely important, and established companies can risk a lot when they make changes, making change challenging.

Such a challenge was faced by DC Entertainment, which yesterday unveiled its new brand identity. The iconic comic publisher, whose fictional characters include universally-recognized figures like Superman and Batman, was founded nearly 80 years ago. But you wouldn't know that looking at its new logo.

As Co.CREATE's Susan Karlin explains:

The “DC” logo reads as a “D”-shaped page that pulls back to reveal a “C” that could either be an obvious letter or infused with elements of a property or character. Digital devices (computers, tablets, smartphones, touch-screen displays, gaming consoles) will enable users to peel back the “D” to expose a character, image, or story. The “C” can be customized to the colors and qualities of the property it’s promoting: silver and gray for the corporation, blue for DC Comics, or...sparks for The Flash, green for Green Lantern, or a mist for Batman. All are unified by a common font--the serendipitously named Gotham Bold.

While animated logos aren't entirely new, I can't recall a major brand with a logo quite like DC's. What's particularly interesting about it is that the company, while more than just a comic book publisher, is best-known for comic books. Comic books, naturally, are dead trees, and the company's new logo will of course be static when displayed on paper. But for DC content distributed on the big screen, websites and tablet devices, a logo that's as dynamic as the company's fictional characters makes a lot of sense.

DC's new logo, with its interactive capabilities, highlights the fact that companies like DC recognize just how important digital will be to their businesses going forward. Indeed, DC Entertainment's SVP of Franchise Management, Amit Desai stated "we took the opportunity to make sure it represented the multi-media business we set out to build with the formation of DC Entertainment." Don't be surprised if other established content companies operating in multiple channels, including digital, find similar inspiration to rethink how their logos function and how consumers interact with them.

Patricio Robles

Published 20 January, 2012 by Patricio Robles

Patricio Robles is a tech reporter at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter.

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