Fantastic Four Movie Cover

The highly anticipated Fantastic Four movie trailer from Josh Trank was released this week. With it, a new Fantastic Four movie logo – but was it a hit, or a miss?

The new Fantastic Four movie reboot from Fox had a new trailer and poster released this week. If your’e into superhero movies like I am, I’m sure you were looking forward to this one. Rumors and ideas going around the web have been mixed. Will it be a true to comic story reboot? Are they going to mess it up trying to hard to apply The Dark Knight’s gritty atmosphere to a family-themed story? Will they try a fun, family action film?

Based on the trailer, it looks like a grounded, realistic take on the Ultimates comic story line. So, why do I bring this up on a logo design site?

Did you see the new logo in the teaser trailer and poster? (Watch the teaser on AintItCoolNews)

Fantastic Four Movie Poster

I like my super hero movies to be as true to the comic origins as possible. I love Easter eggs, name drops, and hints at future characters. I understand some elements and plot threads are too crazy to work out on screen. But logos should be easy enough to transfer, shouldn’t they?

That’s why the new Fantastic Four movie logo design stuck out to me. In spite of my purist attitude, I actually like the new design.

The past two movies have stuck to their most popular formula, a 4 and a circle. The Fantastic Four movie logos have a closed “4” with a hard slant, right aligned into a circle. The bottom, top, and right lines usually cut out of the circle. It’s simple. It’s sci-fi. It’s not symmetrical. Fairly recognizable. So why change it?

Fantastic Four Movie Logos

As with most comics that have been around for decades, they go through changes and re-imaginings. The Fantastic Four have not been any different, using many 4+Circle combinations. This is the first iteration to feature their iconic 4 in a square. What’s to like about the change?

Fantastic Four Movie Logo Pros

Alignment – using it in place of the center “A” in “Fantastic.” By default I like symmetry in designs, it’s comfortable, it’s reassuring. This arrangement can be a little hard to read since the 4 has the hard slant. But at least they didn’t try italicizing the rest of the letters to match.

Corners – Using the square instead of the circle brings in four corners. This can be seen as representative of the four members in the Fantastic Four movie. A square is a sturdier structure than a circle, which can help tie in the theme of strength in a family unit.

Placement – the 4 is still hitting the shape its encapsulated in on the same places it does in a circle – top, right, and bottom. I see it as paying homage to their previous logos.

Noticed This Too…

Lost the Blues – This time they have lost the blue. No blue suits, no blue circle or 4. Instead we get a shiny metal, complete with buffer marks. It’s more rugged and realistic. Definitely the route Fox went when they started the X-Men series back in the early 2000s. (I still want to see Hugh Jackman in the Yellow/Blue Wolverine suit though.)

Outer Space – There seems to be a little to much space where the 4-Square was placed in the middle of “FANT” and “STIC.” Could just be my eyes noticing the emptiness the two “T’s” create under their bars.

A Fantastic Reboot?  

All this got me thinking, what’s the other Fantastic Four logos look like? They typically have used the circle and 4 on their suits/costumes/uniforms. The title on the comics cover has a traditionally been a font that’s got a uneven baseline and fun, sharp serifs.

For comparison, I’ve gathered some of the many Fantastic Four logos and logotypes.

Fantastic Four Comic Logos and Logo Types

Why is this so important? If the movie is successful and received well, it will be this logo that’s associated with that success. Even though the logo boils down to a shape and number, it’s a departure from previous versions. Marvel Studios has been successful using the traditional logos associated with its heroes (those that have them, i.e. Captain America, Iron Man, etc.). I was expecting to dislike any logo they presented that wasn’t tied to the source material. But the designer in me appreciated the update they did on such a simple concept.

For more about the movie, you can read Den of Geek’s dissection of the teaser trailer here.

So what do you think, does the new Fantastic Four movie logo surpass the others? Is it a natural evolution of the brand? Or does it miss the mark trying too hard?

******** UPDATE ********

After sharing this with a friend, John McWhorter (admin on a Facebook Marvel Fan Site), he mentioned something I’m embarrassed I overlooked. He said the square shape reminded him of the Periodic Table, giving an even stronger link to the scientific themes that Reed Richards focuses on in the comics.