Comparing the Superman Movie "S" Shields

Man of Steel By Steve Younis

When Warner Bros. released the official logo for "Man of Steel" via the movie's Facebook page, there was a lot of discussion about its design, color and appearance.

I thought it would be interesting to compare this new promotional logo with the logos released for both "Superman: The Movie" in 1978 and "Superman Returns" in 2006.

Some of the complaints and comments I've seen regarding the "Man of Steel" logo center around its color, specifically in relation to the darkness of the red and how there's really only a hint of yellow.

Looking back to the "S" Shield released to promote "Superman: The Movie", you can see straight away that there's not a hint of red or yellow whatsoever. We have a totally white "S" in an extruded 3D design with crystalline shades of blue and reflective highlights.

Superman: The Movie

The "S" Shield released to promote "Superman Returns" on the other hand does indeed have the red and yellow color scheme more consistent with the classic "S" symbol etched in our minds, although with darker hues. Again the promotional design has a 3D definition to it.

It's also interesting to note that the "S" Shield used to promote "Superman: The Movie" looks nothing like the "S" symbol that was used on Christopher Reeve's costume. It's a totally different shaped design. While the "S" used on the costume is closer to the "classic" design, it does vary slightly.

The symbol for "Superman Returns" is almost identical to what was used to adorn the costume, right down to the 3D bevelled look.

Superman Returns

As for "Man of Steel", the colors are obviously not the same as what is being used on the costume, although the shape of the "S" appears to be identical. The shield on the costume, while slightly raised, isn't as extruded as the promotional logo, and doesn't have the same texture or line designs.

So, in summary, "Superman: The Movie" used a completely different shaped and colored "S" to promote the film than what was seen on the costume, and many consider it the best superhero movie of all time. "Superman Returns" used the same shaped and colored "S" to promote the film as what was seen on the costume, and it was both loved and hated by many.

"Man of Steel" has taken an each-way bet, they've used the same shape but different colored "S" to promote the film as what can be seen on the costume.

Man of Steel

So what does this all mean? Not much really. What I do know is this... whether the movie will be loved or hated rides on a lot more than the design of the "S" Shield.

Steve Younis