Ira Schnapp

Action #1

Action Comics #1, illustration by Joe Shuster, logo design by Ira Schnapp

Ira Schnapp is a little-known designer with a long career in the comic book industry.  He is responsible for the logo of Action Comics, seen above, which has been in use for 72 years.  He also created the most well-known title lettering for the Superman comic book and dozens of other titles for DC Comics, including The Flash, Green Lantern, The Atom, Hawkman, and the Justice League of America.  As comics are such a visual medium it is impossible to articulate the importance of an eye-catching cover logo that represents the story qualities to potential buyers, primarily children who would almost entirely have no real notion of the design process and would be reacting viscerally.  Ira Schnapp was not the illustrator, story writer or editor of any of the titles his meticulous work was featured on, but he was a vital and unheralded ingredient of this medium and genre, a format of entertainment as American as jazz.

One thought on “Ira Schnapp”

  1. Isn’t that amazing? He probably didn’t think much when he designed that logo, but it became an icon. I grew up reading many of those titles that were mentioned in the post and I still have a special fondness for silver age (and golden!) comics.

    P.S. I’m a jazz musician and appreciated that analogy.

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