Saturday, April 30, 2016

A brief history of this blog's many, many logos

The first two logos this blog ever had.

When this blog started back in October 2009, it was focused almost exclusively on zombie movies and zombie-related humor. Dead 2 Rights was created specifically as a forum for a fictional character I played on a podcast called Mail Order Zombie from 2008 to 2013. I didn't even set up this blog myself. It was done for me by the people who ran that podcast. The original logo, featuring a group of smiling, blue-eyed zombies with perfect teeth, was designed by an artist named Scott Cole. I loved it and kept it for years. Mail Order Zombie ceased production in 2013, and I completely dropped the pretense of writing the blog in character. By then, the blog was mostly about my own life and my own interests anyway. Reluctantly, I decided to junk the old, beautifully designed logo in favor of a crude one I made myself. It was just black lettering on a white background. The full name of the blog became Dead 2 Rights: The Personal Blog Of Joe Blevins. I made that switch because the old articles had been credited to the nonexistent character I played on Mail Order Zombie. Those skinny, hand-drawn letters reading "DEAD 2 RIGHTS" are meant to resemble the opening credits of Dr. Strangelove, by the way.

Functional as the black-and-white logo was, it was a little spartan for my taste, so I moved on to a series of more fanciful mastheads. Like the following:

We'll miss ya, Fran.

Aren't those cute? For a while, this blog's mascot was an old-timey character actor named Slim Summerville. I cancelled out his eyes and pasted his picture over the carpet pattern from The Shining. So that was another Kubrick reference. By then, I was pretty heavily into the Ed Wood Wednesdays phase of Dead 2 Rights. Since Eddie made a lot of adult movies, I found myself doing Internet searches for porno actresses and pin-up models. Somewhere along the way, I must have discovered the name of Fran Gerard, who didn't appear in any movies but was a memorable Playboy Playmate in 1967. She might have been the first Playmate to wear glasses in her pictorial. I thought she was adorable, so she became the face of Dead 2 Rights for a while. The logo was kitschy and sexy and retro -- all the things I wanted the blog to be. You'll see I was enamored of Cooper Black and those damned Dr. Strangelove letters. During this era, the blog also acquired a new subtitle: The Journal Of Important Matters.

Then a weird thing happened, and the blog's appearance had to reflect that change.

The most recent logos. Notice how unsexy they are.

Sometime in late 2014, Google got really uptight about having sexually-related content on Blogger, the platform I use to publish Dead 2 Rights. People with Blogger sites got a bunch of threatening e-mails about what content was and was not appropriate and said that blogs that didn't comply would be restricted from searches and could be blocked altogether for some users. My blog got a voluntary but still embarrassing orange "Content Warning" screen slapped on it, and some readers found that they could no longer access the site at all. Google eventually relented (somewhat), but I'd had enough. I censored the holy hell out of Dead 2 Rights and lobbied to get the warning screen taken off. After some rigmarole, I was successful. At that point, it was no longer appropriate to have a Playboy Playmate as the unwitting "face" of the blog, so Fran Gerard was replaced by Thomas Bowdler, the man whose name became synonymous with censorship. The subtitle was changed to A Decent Blog For Decent People in order to emphasize my moral turpitude.

I got sick of looking at Bowlder pretty quickly, and I'd always wanted to experiment with a "log cabin" motif, so the site became Dead 2 Rights: A Folksy, Down-Home Blog. I liked this much better, but I thought it was getting a little corny. Therefore, I ditched the backwoods design altogether and went for a super-plain look with a skinny, nondescript logo, once again (yawn) employing those skinny Dr. Strangelove letters. The problem with this version of the site was that it was so bland it was hideous. I hated looking at it, so I gave Dead 2 Rights its most recent makeover. The current banner is minimalist but colorful and takes its version of the logo directly from Scott Cole's original 2009 design. I thought it paired well with the Soviet propaganda posters I currently use as the site's wallpaper.

And that's a pocket history of Dead 2 Rights. Not that you asked for it.