DC Comics Superman

Superman Gets a Makeover

DC Comics was in search of a fresh perspective for their Superman style guide. They felt too close to the project and previous in-house solutions had yielded lackluster results over the past few years. They desired a new approach that would celebrate the rich heritage of the Superman brand while also offering something unique.

Roles: Senior Designer, Illustrator, Branding


DC Comics was looking for something different for their Superman style guide introduce a major character updated and brand refresh. Because they felt too close to the project and previous in-house solutions had produced lack-luster results, they felt looking at an outside creative source was the answer.

DC Comics contacted Cathe Jacobi, one of Cartoon Network's creative directors, for a referral. She told them they needed to look no further than, Scott Banks and his team at "BAD Studio."

The Winner Is

When telling the story of such an iconic brand it's easy to get lost in the possibilities and overthink possible solutions.

Taking a step back to get the big picture and looking at what the audience loves about the brand can filter through the clutter. With this method the solution comes into focus more easily.

We pitched creating a full-size printed newspaper, much like the Daily Planet (Clarke Kent's employer), as a style guide to be given to licensees, along with a secure website for graphic assets.

I presented several design concepts inspired by traditional newspapers. The design chosen was a full-size replica of The Daily Planet.

Making the Art

Along with developing the completed design for the style guide, I created all of the licensing art and product concepts in the guide.

I was given two challenges for developing the art:  acknowledgment of Superman's rich history and to give him a gritty, modern edge. To solve this I developed two styles for each licensee design. One used the new approved color version of Superman created by DC with the brand colors and grungy graphic elements. The other used was a vintage color-block illustration style I created for an earlier concept that DC's creative department loved.


Below is a curated selection of the design and art created for the Superman Style Guide. One major success was the distressed Superman shield logo. It has been one of the most popular Superman t-shirt designs for over ten years, and has even been featured in the television show "Big Bang Theory."