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On Logos


We wanted to talk a little bit about the logo for the movie. The Japanese logo was designed by Takayasu Fujii. It’s actually quite clever: the text gradually grows, building up to the final character, the kanji for “Castle” (shiro). And like the castle in the film, you can see a surrounding waterline often integrated into the writing for “Cagliostro.”


The original English logo, first seen when Streamline Pictures solicited the film in the theaters back in 1991, attempted to capture some of this approach: notice how “Cagliostro” has a similar expanding effect and “Castle” features a spire-like A-pex (ha).


It looks good, but it’s missing impact. The Japanese logo was slanted and sharp. Streamline’s is very round and soft. We liked that it worked the effects of the original logo into English, but it wasn’t quite the same. It’s missing another important attribute, too: wasn’t this a Lupin the Third movie?


(Above: Cagliostro got reissued on VHS after its initial print run with a revised logo that added drop-shadows and removed the spire effect on the “A”. Technically, it’s using a copycat font instead of the original—you can tell if you compare the “G” closely, for instance. It could be that the “Streamline logo” was really created by the Japanese licensor many moons ago, and this was Streamline’s “nearest neighbor” re-creation…)


This has probably been the most faithful English logo to date. It features a similar logo style and coloring to the Japanese original, and even features the waterline effect. However, it’s missing the essential “castle-like Castle.” Around the same time, another attempt was made at recreating the style of the original logo, and resembles the effect of looking upward at the side of a stone building.


(Side Note: This logo was also briefly featured in the menu for Manga Entertainment’s US “special edition” release for reasons that remain unexplained. Did TMS design—or simply adopt—this logo themselves, too?)


And in the interest of completeness, here are Manga Entertainment US’ logos for the film. To be blunt, I didn’t personally care for them. The first (from 2000) I found hard to read, and the latter (from 2006) has like 12 different fonts all mixed together and “Lupin the III”? I don’t even know what’s going on…





So here we are in 2014 (the 35th anniversary of the film in question)  and none of the existing logos quite satisfied our thirst for a faithful Cagliostro English logo. What to do? Start (almost) anew:



Here you see Brady has borrowed the slant of the original logo, restored the long-forgotten knife-and-note “Lupin” logo (reserved exclusively for two of the theatrical features), used colors comparable to the original, and even reused almost exactly the original “castle-like” features from the Japanese logo. However, it’s also paid homage to the classic English logo: all the lettering is based on the same fonts (or near-equals) the Streamline logo featured, but it finally has the impact and positioning that recalls the Japanese original.

The new logo is not completely final yet, but I expect it won’t change much between now and then. Some other time we’ll have to talk about the restored “Lupin the Third” logo…


(with help from Brady)


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From ideation to screen. Notice how Clarisse’s hair goes from a cute bob more to what it is now.

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