Social media often gets worked up over new logo designs, like the Loki logo that was recently released by Marvel at Comic-Con. Since Loki is a beloved character in the MCU, the newly released logo design is under heavy scrutiny. It’s nontraditional and awkward, and people are a bit miffed. Well, since I’m both a graphic designer and a huge fan of the MCU, I need to talk about it. Overall, the logo for Marvel’s Loki hurts both my eyes and my design senses, but I’m still looking forward to watching the show as soon as it’s released. Now here’s a more in-depth logo analysis.
Some Loki Backstory
Loki is the god of mischief, and in much of the early MCU movies he was the villain. In later movies he was less of a villain, but still mischievous and powerful. In Thor Ragnarok he helped save the Asgardian people from annihilation. Infinity War saw Loki get killed off after a rash attempt on Thanos’ life. His character was then brought back in an alternate timeline in Avengers: Endgame. This means this new Loki doesn’t come with the same character evolution we watched him go through in the previous MCU movies.
In this alternate timeline, he manages to escape immediately after being captured by the Avengers in the first movie. You know, the one where he is working for Thanos and tries to destroy everything. This means, if the new TV show follows up with him after the events of the first Avengers film, he’ll be back to his villainous ways. I’m not complaining. He’s a great villain and a fantastic character overall. But how does that fit with the logo?
From a design standpoint, the logo is awkward. Four different font styles in four different colours. Why? It isn’t hard to read since it’s such a short word. However, having a different style on each letter is an odd choice. It feels like each letter should be read individually rather than as a single word.
Originally I thought maybe they had combined letters from the previous Thor and Avengers movies to show Loki’s character evolution, but that wouldn’t make sense since this version of Loki is one we are largely unfamiliar with. Perhaps this logo is based on his evolution to come? Or maybe it represents the different aspects of his character? Locations Loki will visit in the show? Or hell, maybe they just went with something ‘mischevious’ since that’s what Loki is all about? Regardless, I would love to hear the rationale behind this logo from the designers.
While the logo, as a whole, is confusing, each letter of it is well designed. I would have liked to see what the word Loki would look like in each of the four font styles used here. I’m sure they would all look more cohesive than this. The L looks like it could be part of the wording for The Hulk, the O looks very Asgardian, the K could be from a Thor movie, and the I… well it looks like it could be from Green Lantern but that’s DC so who knows.
The Loki Logo: To Conclude
Overall, it feels like this logo choice wasn’t made by a graphic designer. Maybe, instead, by someone higher up who wanted something unique to the MCU and something that felt true to the character of Loki, but couldn’t figure out how to do that in a better way. The designer, whoever they are, executed the design flawlessly, despite being given the direction to make a logo that defies all traditional logo guidelines.
I would have liked to see this logo done in a simpler, single style, similar to @Bosslogic’s Loki logo. The idea of the four styles could then be put into the marketing materials instead of the logo. For example, if each letter represents a location in the show, have that hinted at in the posters, theater signage, online ads, etc.
Logos should be simple and versatile and this one certainly isn’t either of those things. Although it is memorable, so they get some points for that I suppose. What do you think?
July 2021 update: SPOILER: I’ve been watching the show every week now and I love it. I’m also pretty sure the different type treatments are meant to represent the different Loki variants. Maybe the I is for alligator Loki? For this reason, the Loki logo works really well despite it being so unconventional.