Now what do you think THIS is the logo for?

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Image1 Now what do you think THIS is the logo for?
Seriously.

Think about it a little while.
.

.

.

If you guessed the upcoming line of comics conventions run by Gareb Shamus/Wizard, you were correct. Of course, nothing in the logo would indicate that this is not, say, the New York Comic-Con. And considering that the San Diego Comic-Con International technically owns the trademark on the term “Comic- con”….well, you might be confused. And that might just be the point.

Comments

  1. Clearly the silhouetted figure in the cape in Gareb Shamus.

  2. John Tebbel says:

    SD may assert they own the “comic con” tm but it’s more complicated than just saying it. If there were a spat they’d have to prove a lot of things. Tm rules are quite different from copyright, as you and your your readers are doubtless aware.

    And who’s this guy using my first name? If I let this go on my good name will be in the toilet, soon.

  3. Synsidar says:

    ICv2 has a nice piece on Shamus’s renaming move:

    We asked San Diego Comic-Con Director of Marketing and Public Relations David Glanzer about the Comic-Con trademark at the show a few weeks ago, and although he declined to comment on the trademark specifically (see “Another Great San Diego Comic-Con”), he did note that the San Diego organizers were concerned about potential confusion. “Whenever an entity comes along and brands itself in a way that confuses people, whether intentional or otherwise, I don’t think anybody enjoys that,” he said. “I don’t think it benefits us, I don’t think it benefits the attendees.”

    The recent history of the use of “Comic-Con” is mixed. Baltimore Comic-Con uses the hyphenated version and has for a number of years. Glanzer did note that there were some users of the term that were not viewed as competitive. “There are other Comic-Cons out there we have never had an issue or a problem with,” he said. “We just don’t think it’s fair if there’s intended or unintended confusion.”

    I’m not a lawyer, thankfully, but allowing others to use the “Comic-Con” name could weaken SDCC’s case if a legal dispute arises. One could also argue that, as an abbreviation of “comics convention,” “Comic-Con” is a generic term.

    SRS

  4. The conflict between the visual perspective that is present in the “fence”, but absent in the COMIC-CON name is leaving me, well, conflicted. What to do, oh, woe. ( wrist held to forehead, with velco)

  5. Alan Coil says:

    “…well, you might be confused. And that might just be the point. ”

    Yep, that’s the point. Make your product look similar enough to another, more successful product, one that has much good will with the public, so as to ride the coattails of the other product.

  6. Well, I saw this logo in use for the Chicago Comic-Con, so I could’ve guessed it was the the Big Apple show coming up.

    However, it fails. It does not list the name, it doesn’t list dates.
    (The Big Apple site does use a similar logo, in apple green, although the perspective on the text has not been fixed.)

    It’s a good logo, adaptable to various cities (the Toronto logo is purple).

    Searching the USPTO, there are four trademarks using the word “comic-con”. CCI:SD has a registration number of 3219568 http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/showfield?f=doc&state=4007:f9ogdq.2.1

    INTERESTING…. the name “Los Angeles Comic-Con” was filed August 11, 2009, by the SAN DIEGO COMIC CONVENTION. As was the term “Anaheim Comic-Con”. (But not “Las Vegas Comic-Con”.)

    “Chicago Comic-Con” was filed July 15, 2008, by Entertainment Conventions, Inc. “Chicago Comicon” is a registered trademark with ECI.

    “Comic Con” was abandoned April 19, 1999. “A trademark application is considered abandoned when there is no response to an office action within the statutory six-month response period.” (USPTO)

  7. How about renaming Gareb Shamus “Gareb Shameless”?

  8. Mike Kowalczyk says:

    “San Diego Comic-Con International technically owns the trademark on the term “Comic- con””

    First, those of us that did attend Chicago saw this logo with the word “Chicago” in the autograph page of the program. So…old news.

    Second, since when does SD get rights to “Comic-Con”? All the others are not Comic-cons? It’s an abbreviation people! Not a marketing tool to separate one Con from another. It was the Chicago Comic-Con BEFORE Wizard bought it! Yeah, that’s right. The Con existed BEFORE Wizard. Shocking, I know. :P

    So, if SD does own “Comic-Con” then will they go after GenCon, DragonCon, et al.?

    “Gareb Shameless”? Been calling him that for years! Glad I’m not the only one!

  9. Yikes, that some weak logo work there.

    I’m not from your side of the globe, but how many US logos are really just reheats of the Major League Baseball design? I’ll give you the red, white and blue, but come on guys…THINK HARDER.
    (Or at least find a more original logo to rip-off).

  10. Someone fails at logo design. Can’t even rotate the “Comic-Con” a little so it lines up with the angle of the box? :(

  11. The NY skyline isn’t angled, either…and neither is the top of the white text box (only the bottom). Just too much going on with that logo.

  12. The basic Shamus-Con logo design isn’t half-bad when you think about how quickly they cobbled it together, considering that they had a completely different logo at the beginning of the Chicago Con than they did at the end of it (thanks to the first one being a knock-off of the MLB and NBA logos):

    http://www.bleedingcool.com/2009/08/12/swipe-file-urchins-the-dead-and-logo-lookalikes/

  13. “It was the Chicago Comic-Con BEFORE Wizard bought it! Yeah, that’s right.”

    Technically… it was “Chicago Comicon.”

    The hyphen and the second “c” make a lot of difference.

    -J

  14. michael says:

    the man’s antics now are just…baffling.

  15. Is it tacky that the trademark infringement bothers me less than the fact that the box for the text is in perspective but the letters aren’t? Tsktsk.

  16. Alan Coil says:

    “Searching the USPTO,…”

    Excellent work, Torsten.

  17. Alan Coil says:

    Mike Kowalczyk asks:

    “Second, since when does SD get rights to “Comic-Con”?”

    It’s all so simple, Mike. You apply for a trademark. If nobody is using it, and nobody objects, you get it. It’s then yours as long as you actively use it and protect it from the invading hordes.

  18. Mike Kowalczyk says:

    Alan, my point being “Comic-Con” or “Comicon” are abbreviations of “comic convention” or “comic book convention” (since we’re now pointing out the obvious). Which is what they all are. What would be the point of owning a trademark on “Comic-Con”? Just to force all other comic conventions to use some other moniker? Convention goers commonly refer to them as “the Con” or the “Comicon” regardless of locale.

    West coasters say, “I’m going down to Comicon”. Most everyone in the area understands this means San Diego Comic-Con.

    People in the Chicago area say, “I’m going down to Comicon”. Most everyone in the area understands this means Chicago Comic-Con.

    I’m sure the same is true for Toronto and New York now as well.

    It’s a catch phrase that has long past into the pop culture language commonly used for all comic conventions nationwide. Claiming legal domain over it now is a senseless waste of funds.

    Why the need for separation now when the entire industry has a vested interest in keeping the field viable regardless of region or locale?

  19. Alan Coil says:

    “Why the need for separation now when the entire industry has a vested interest in keeping the field viable regardless of region or locale? ”

    Because the entire industry has NO vested interest in keeping shameless viable. ;)

  20. “Comicon” vs. “Comic-Con”?

    Is this the same difference between “superheroes” and “Super Heroes” (tm MARVEL and DC)? Funny how spacing and a punctuation mark can transform common, everyday words into legally-defensible corporate brands… Shel Dorf and all those nerds who started the SDCC ball rolling 39 years ago should’ve just named their confab “San Diego’s Golden State Comics, Film and Science Fantasy Fan and Professionals Meet-and-Greet” instead!

    A question for any etymologist out there: ARE there prior appearance of the term “Comic-Con” before its use in a flyer used for the 1971 SD Con?

    Me, I still get mixed up with the whole BREYERS vs. DREYERS ice-cream conundrum…

  21. Not a trademark lawyer, but first use tends to favor someone if they are then applying for the trademark. (The USPTO record for San Diego gives 1970 as the date.)

    If you read my blog entry for July 26
    http://torstenadair.blogspot.com/2009/07/san-diego-sunday.html
    you’ll find a link to one of the earliest mentions of San Diego Comic-Con (1974). “comic con”, according to Google, first appeared in the Village Voice, in regards to Phil Seuling and the Hotel Commodore in 1974.
    http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=v-sQAAAAIBAJ&sjid=74sDAAAAIBAJ&pg=6312,1339307&dq=comic-con

  22. i think the fact that this logo is terrible, it is more troubling than any of it.

  23. From purely a design standpoint, this logo pales in comparison to San Diego’s (the yellow and black one with the eye). I’ve yet to see Toronto’s but this one really missed the mark.

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