Batman’s symbol shows transformation of a brand

If a successful brand image is one that sums up the company immediately, then superhero symbols are some of the most effective logos of all. That's what FastCoDesign's John Brownlee asserts in a piece about the symbol on Batman's chest, one of the most recognizable comic book images in history. Now that the character has been in existence for 75 years, small businesses have something to learn from the Caped Crusader about brand stability over the course of the business' life.

Using information from, the article looks at two different branches of the bat symbol: the one used in the comics and the one seen on film. They appear similar to the average eye, but the changes, sometimes subtle, sometimes massive, reflect different design trends throughout the years.

The most popular and enduring version is probably the wide black bat logo set against a yellow circle. Not only is this the version seen on the famous TV series from the 1960's, it served as the basis for other variants until the newest run of Bat-films in 2000.

What can all of these tweaks teach companies about brand permanence? They show the way that a good idea lasts across different forms of media. Businesses have a variety of signage options at their disposal, from vinyl signs to portable stand-up displays, so the logos they design should look equally good on all of them.

However, this will almost certainly require moments of rebranding and re-printing as the company gets older and more well-known. In that case, the most important things for companies to do is maintain a strong relationship with a provider of custom prints and signs.