Lights, Camera, Action! Welcome to the world of glitz and glamour. The magical but “make belief world” of cinema has enthralled generations after generations. Be it the screenplay or the music, be it the actors or the directors, everything about a movie is simply breathtaking. There are several elements that make a movie an astonishing piece of art, chief among them is the movie logo. I will explore the top movie logos in this article. So grab a bottle of your favorite soft drink and read on.
1. The Godfather
Everything about the film is legendary. Be it the characters, the screenplay, the cinematography or the direction, everything is simply out of this world; but, what really makes an impression are the dialogues and the way they are delivered. “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse”, or “A man who doesn’t spend time with his family can never be a real man” by Don Vito Corleone will always be etched in the memory of the audience.
Neil Fujita, the legendary American graphic designer, can be credited for the fonts used in the book cover; the same typeface has been used in the film. The fonts became so famous that it is now known as “The Godfather font.” The puppet-master pulling the string has been brilliantly used: the Godfather, who made others dance to his tune, realized that his strings were being pulled by “someone” else.
2. Star Wars
The title card, “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away”, is sure to get even the young generation of today on the edge of their seats. The ever-expanding universe of Star Wars has got generations of audiences fascinated. Darth Vader, Yoda, Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi are some of the immortal characters in the Star Wars universe.
The iconic Star Wars logo, still in use today, was introduced in 1977. The sans-serif font has slightly elongated “S” and “R” which gives the iconic symbol a futuristic look. The black in the logo symbolizes the never ending universe and the various other colors used in the trilogy, sequels and prequels convey many different things. Yellow in the logo stands for energy and victory; red conveys battle, blood and struggle, and blue stands for peace and tranquility.
3. James Bond
So this is what I want you to do – imagine the logo slowly enlarging on the screen while the famous bond theme music is being played in the background: all in your head! I will make it easier for you to remember the theme music – just watch the video below:
Now, say the following out loud but with style and grace, “The name is Bond, James Bond.” Congratulations, you are now officially a double “O” agent!
Jokes aside, one of the world’s most iconic spy movie franchises can brag about having one of the most famous logos in the world. The logo is based on the second name of James Bond – 007. The 007 logo has not changed since it was first used in the 1960s; it has only become more sophisticated as the years have passed.
4. Jurassic Park
Directed by Steven Spielberg, Jurassic Park is one of the few films that have successfully captured the imagination of audiences. The film won more than 20 awards which includes 3 Oscar Awards. The tremendous success of the film was marked by four sequels: The Lost World, Jurassic park III, Jurassic World and Fallen Kingdom. A fifth sequel, Jurassic World: Dominion, is set to release in 2021.
The current Jurassic Park logo was created in 1993; however, new elements have always been added with each new release. Chip Kidd, the American graphic designer, explained that he had visited the Museum of Natural history to see the bone structures of dinosaurs. He later took a picture of a dinosaur from a book he had bought and began to draw the creature using a tracing paper- and that is how the world got one of the most iconic movie logos.
5. Pulp Fiction
A Hollywood masterpiece from Quentin Tarantino, Pulp Fiction is considered a benchmark in postmodern films. Hollywood giants like John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson and Uma Thurman portrayed their characters beautifully and were nominated for the Oscars. The film won the Palme d’Or award at the 1994 Cannes Films Festival and won an Oscar for the Best Original Screenplay.
Pulp Fiction is regarded as a touchstone film of its era which is clearly visible in its logo. The combination of red and yellow gives the logo a cheerful look with a hint of violence and bloodshed; exactly what the film is about.
The amazing journey of one of the most successful Hollywood franchises began in 1976. Sylvester Stallone wrote and portrayed the character of Rocky; a small-time club fighter who defeats the world heavyweight champion, Apollo Creed. The film went on to win 3 Oscar Awards and was ranked second in “The Greatest Sports Films ever made.”
The visual identity of Rocky is one of the most recognizable in the world. The black in the logo represents hard work and strife, while the white represents peace. The silhouette of a man with both his fists up in the air represents victory.
7. Indiana Jones
Indiana Jones: adventure, treasures and a whole lot of action is what one of the best Hollywood franchises is all about. From the “Raiders of the Lost Ark” to “The Temple of Doom” and from “The Last Crusade” to “The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”, Indiana Jones has always captivated the imagination of the audiences.
The iconic logo of one of the most successful movie franchises has remained the same over the years. The logo is composed of a single wordmark which is diagonally placed. The logo is also unique because of its color palette.
The orange, yellow and black in the logo represents sun, dust and rocks: everything associated with adventure and archeology. The Indiana Jones Logo is truly a timeless piece of art.
Batman, the savior of Gotham city first appeared in DC comic books in 1939. One of Hollywood’s most successful franchises, Batman was first released as a full-length feature film in 1966.
The Batman logo has gone through several updates, but the black silhouette of a bat remains the centerpiece of the logo. The Batman emblem stands for justice and man’s ability to stand strong against evil forces.
9. Harry Potter
Albus Dumbledore, Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley, Voldemort, wizards, brooms, magic sticks and a whole lot of action, adventure and magic spells is what Harry Potter is all about. The eight films in the Harry Potter series are amongst Hollywood’s highest grossing films!
Except for the color changes, the Harry Potter logo has never changed. The fancy shapes of the letter evoke a sense of magic and mystery. The iconic logo never fails to attract its audience.
The original American superhero, Superman, made his first film appearance in 1948. The commercial success of the film triggered many sequels and a spin-off, Supergirl. Superman stands for justice, righteousness and the defender of the weak.
In its 75-year history, the Superman logo has gone through almost 25 changes. However, the “S” inside a shield has always remained the central figure of the emblem.
11. Mortal Kombat
Liu Kang, Johnny Cage and Sonya Blade are guided by god Rayden to save planet Earth from the evil sorcerer Shang Tsung. Breathtaking fight sequences, amazing fighters and supernatural powers make Mortal Kombat an iconic film.
The key element of the Mortal Kombat logo is a dragon’s head enclosed within a circle. The fiery tongue sticking out the creature’s mouth signifies danger and violence. The dragon also symbolizes elder-gods who are ready to help those walking on the path of righteousness.
Logan, Rogue, Professor Xavier and a whole lot of mutants form the X-Men team and are on a mission to wipe off the evil forces from the planet. With a total of $6.083 billion in box office collections, X-Men is the seventh highest grossing film series in the U.S.
The new X-Men logo has been designed by Tom Muller, an award-winning graphic designer. The logo consists of a yellow circle with an enclosed “X” sign and a thick black circular outline. The logo beautifully expresses the abilities of the hero team.
Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Black Widow, Captain America and other superheroes from the Marvel universe form one of the world’s deadliest superhero teams – the Avengers. ‘The Avengers’; first film of the franchise is also the third-highest-grossing film of all time.
Developed by Gasper Saladino in 1972, the Avengers “A” or the “Big A” has always been the centerpiece of the iconic logo. The color palette has been adjusted with each movie to let the audience know what to expect from the film.
Released in 1984, Ghostbusters deals with three parapsychologists who start a ghost-catching business in New York City. The film became a cultural phenomenon upon its release and triggered several sequels with the latest, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, scheduled for release in 2021.
A playful ghost sticking his head and hands out of a Prohibition road sign forms the centrepiece of the iconic logo. The logo very well depicts what the audience can expect from the film; a lot of ghosts and a lot of laughter.
“Tonight, we dine in hell” and “This is Sparta” are two famous dialogues in the film by King Leonidas and underlines what the movie is all about – the pride of Sparta. The fearless King Leonidas and his brave 300 fight the Persian army of more than 300,000 men led by the “God-King” Xerxes. The success of the film led to the making of a sequel, 300: Rise of an Empire, in 2014.
300 hundred written in red with blood drops perfectly convey what the film is all about. Black symbolizes man’s struggles against odds and blood red portrays his journey towards victory.
Those were the top 15 movie logos of all time. Yes, I know there are so many movies that could have easily made it to the list. You can even start a debate on which one should be at the top of the list and you know what? Let’s start a debate on which movie logo should make it to the list and I promise I will make a new one!
PJ has a background in management consulting and software development. At DesignBro, he combines both. Personal favorite brand of PJ is Jeep.