Mattew Olin - Some Type of Hero

Duluth, Minnesota-based designer Matthew Olin just recently released images from his exhibition in December 2011. The exhibition, entitled “Some Type of Hero,” was his MFA thesis project at the University of Minnesota. Matthew broke his exhibit into 3 visual elements — symbol, color, and typography — to show how we can draw analogies between design elements and superheros to inspire others.

According to Matthew:

Relating these characteristics to those found within beloved superheroes lets us connect the qualities of each and draw similarities between the two. In doing so, we can champion our profession as leaders in organizing chaos and creating change in an informed world.

Matthew carefully selected typography to recreate the look and feel of each superhero. The typography even displayed some key characteristics of our beloved heroes! Additionally, he matched many well-known consumer brands to recreate the superheroes’ own symbols (I especially thought that Flash and X-Men were brilliant). And most eye-catching was his use of color to represent each superhero brand. Check out these wonderful designs below!

Batman as “Resourceful” Brands, “Dark and Mysterious” Colors, and Sans Serif Fonts

Brands:, Ebay, Google, Wikipedia, Yahoo!

Fonts: Gotham Book

Matthew Olin Some Type of Hero Batman

Catwoman as Didone Fonts

Fonts: Bodoni Roman

Matthew Olin Some Type of Hero Catwoman

The Flash as “Agile” Brands and Handwriting Fonts

Brands: Brooks, Newron, Nike, Saucony, Vibram

Font: Can’t figure out — someone else know?

Matthew Olin Some Type of Hero Flash

The Hulk as Slab Serif Font

Font: Archer Pro Medium

Matthew Olin Some Type of Hero Hulk

The Incredibles as “Versatile” Brands

Brands: The Apple Family — iMac, Macbook, iPod, iPhone, iPad, iTunes

Matthew Olin Some Type of Hero Incredibles

Iron Man as “Smart and Refined” Colors

Matthew Olin Some Type of Hero Ironman

Spiderman as Script Fonts

Font: Snell Roundhand

Matthew Olin Some Type of Hero Superman

Superman as “Classic” Brands, “Courageous and Just” Colors, and Serif Font

Brands: Band-Aid, Clorox, Coca-Cola, Kleenex, Xerox

Fonts: Adobe Caslon Regular

Matthew Olin Some Type of Hero Superman

Thor as Blackletter Fonts

Font: Classic Black Regular

Matthew Olin Some Type of Hero Thor

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as “Young and Energetic” Colors

Matthew Olin Some Type of Hero Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

X-Men as “Advanced” Brands and Display Font

Brands: Digg, Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, YouTube

Font: Linotype Franosch Pro Medium

Matthew Olin Some Type of Hero X-men

What are your favorite Matthew Olin superhero renditions?

[via Design Taxi]

[Images courtesy of Matthew Olin: Brands, Colors, Typography]



  1. I love all of these. I really like Olin’s justifications for choosing the brands/colors/fonts for each hero, too. My favorite is the Batman brands picture!


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