Publisher's Brand Emblem

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A publisher's brand, or brand emblem, is roughly equivalent to a publisher logo. (See also Brand Group for the concept of branding.)

  • A publisher's brand emblem identifies a publisher of comics. This includes parts of the comic publisher with a separate publishing identity. This does NOT include distributor's brands, product brands, or licensing brands. For example, brands like "Walter Lantz", "King Features" and "Walt Disney" are generally product brands, NOT publisher brands, and they are not currently tracked in the database. Exception: "Walt Disney" is used as a publisher's brand on books actually published by Disney itself or its international subsidiaries.
  • Always related to a visible marking on the outside of an issue. When there are no such markings, a "no brand" flag should be set.
  • A comic book brand emblem recognized in our data base is recorded for any book on which it appears, including co-published cross-overs and foreign or licensed editions.
  • In practice, we currently record in our publisher's brand emblem field those brand emblems which belong to a so-called 'master' publisher in our database.
  • At the current time, multiple brand emblems should be recorded separated by a semi-colon and a space. This will allow us to separate these into distinct brand emblems in the future.
  • Logos or other markings identifying a distributor or to associate a series with a non-comics entity such as a TV show or toy line are currently not tracked.

Depending on the nature of the brand emblem it can belong to one or several brand groups. Typically if it is just one distinct image it belongs to one brand group. Since currently we record multiple distinct brand emblems separated by a semi-colon and a space, these brand emblems belong to two (or more) brand groups. There are also some brand emblems for which two brand identities are combined in one image, here again the brand emblem belongs to two brand groups. Please note that when adding a new brand emblem, only a single brand group can be selected; further ones can be added after approval.

A brand emblem has to be added separately so it will be available in the drop-down. A brand emblem can be added from its brand group, see Adding a New Brand Emblem for more details.

Each brand emblem is in use at one or several publishers; we store these uses separately. When adding a new brand emblem, a corresponding brand use at the publisher of its brand group is automatically added.

In some cases a brand emblem was used several times with long breaks in between. To avoid showing the brand emblem in the years in between in the brand drop down of an issue (with the potential of wrong data entry) we add a brand use for each separate case.

Policy vote on Brands

  1. The name of a brand that involves text should begin with the text read in the most logical order across the emblem. If it is possible to read it left-to-right, top-to-bottom (or right-to-left, etc. depending on the language) then it should be read that way. If the ordering is ambiguous, then any ordering that captures the words is acceptable.
  2. A brief description of distinguishing graphical elements may be placed after the name, in square brackets. If there are versions of the brand emblem that differ only in the graphical elements, then the description *must* be present for *all* such brand names.
  3. Letters that are part of the logo should be captured as well, to distinguish "i [Image]", "Image i" and "Image", or to distinguish "i [Image]" from some other brand using an "i" emblem.
  4. If an emblem involves a particularly stylized letter, it may be included in the graphical description rather than as part of the text name. The goal should be clarity. For instance "Image [under lower-case i]" is more clear than "Image i".
  5. If an emblem has no typographical elements, its name must consist entirely of a brief description inside of square brackets.
  6. The choice of words in the description, order of words in the name (when ambiguous), and the placement of certain typographical elements in the name vs description are necessarily subjective. Changes should not be made without clear justification. Approvers must reject (or send back) changes that are poorly justified or do not appear to offer significant improvement.
    • Example of a good justification (for changing "Image i" to "Image [under lower-case i]"):
      • "It is not always immediately clear that the thing above the word "Image" is an "i". Describing the letter and it's placement is more likely to make people certain they are choosing the right brand."
    • Example of bad justifications (for changing "Image [under lower-case i]" to "Image i"):
      • "'Image i' is more concise" [reject]
      • "'Image i' should be enough to figure it out" [reject]
      • "I saw another brand with a name and a plain letter, so this should just be 'Image i'" [reject]
  7. Both graphical and textual changes should be captured by separate brands. The following exceptions are the only cases when a change or variation can and must be ignored:
    • When a brand appears in multiple colors concurrently, or rotates through color schemes too frequently to establish an identity with any one color scheme, changes in the color must be ignored. Example:
      • "Captain America: Patriot" uses the typical red Marvel logo on issue #2, a silver version on issue #1, and a greenish version on issue #3. These are not distinct brands.
    • Informational elements that are attached to, adjacent to, or somehow mixed with publisher brand emblems, such as issue numbers, URLs, descriptive elements such as "limited series", "variant edition" or "one shot", must be ignored.
      • If the URL is an integral and consistent part of the brand, it must be included. URLs or ".com" tacked on to existing emblems are not integral parts of the brand. A brand launched from the beginning including a URL within the emblem, or reworked and relaunched to integrate a URL, would have the URL as an integral part of the brand.
  8. Brands that are integrated into series names (DC Special) are still brands.
    • Integrated brands that otherwise appear identical to existing brands should be treated as instances of the existing brand.
    • Integrated brands that appear different beyond their simple attachment to a series name should be treated as separate brands. However, the series name should not become part of the brand, nor should there be a separate brand for each series unless some other element of the brand changes per series. For instance, DC brands that used different background shapes with different series are separate brands, but plain DC letters in a white circle (attached to a series name or not) are all the same brand.
  9. Multiple brands should be separated by semi-colons.
  10. Additional examples sent to the GCD policy list during the discussion leading up to this ballot where the discussion participants agreed on the example usage should be incorporated into this definition. Examples where the participants did not reach an agreement may be included if the existing disagreements are resolved by discussion or vote.
  11. Generic Brand Emblems are also an option for storing brand names. A generic brand emblem is to store the written text under which a brand is presented on an issue, no matter how the brand name is visualized.

  • A list of Brand Groups for a Publisher can be seen by clicking on the number next to Brand Groups on the Publisher page.
  • Similarly a List of Brand Emblems for a Publisher can be seen by clicking on the number next to Brand Emblems in Use on the Publisher page.
  • For either list, clicking on the name of the Group or Emblem will return a sortable list of issues linked to that Group or Emblem.

(end of definition)

Policy Votes Affecting This Topic

Note: Brand was added to the database at the end of 2009, so any issues that had been added before that will need to have this added at some point.

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