Dune logo unveiled at event; copyright claimants rush to remove it from the 'net

The logo for Denis Villeneuve's forthcoming Dune movie series was revealed at an event in France last night. It appears the movie's producers are rushing to remove it from the 'net, as photos of the logo are disappearing from popular Dune fan accounts with copyright enforcement notices left in their wake.

But they can't get everything, and it's easy to find with a search.

Perhaps they know it's futile, and the aggressive enforcement is itself a publicity stunt. Dune's fandom is old and intense, and a rich thread in the cultural fabric of the internet generation thanks to the sprawling novels, the magnificent badness of the 1982 David Lynch movie, and a conversely excellent series of computer games based on Frank Herbert's lets-not-get-started-trying-to-summarize-it epic. So every element of the production receives an unusual level of attention from mainstream journalists.

The takedowns may be of a wire photo, too, and triggered by claims from a photo agency rather than the movie's producers. It seems unlikely, however, as Twitter user DuneInfo identifies Warner France as issuing a DMCA takedown notice that had led to their post of the logo going blank. The image in this post is cropped and perspective-corrected to show only the matter at hand: the logo and its backdrop.

The desert photo is by Leah Kennedy and appears to be exclusively available from her own website. This raises the question of whether Warner appropriately licensed the photo, which has been artistically manipulated.

As for the logo itself, it's being well-received, though a few folks are dunking on it. Or, if you like, dunc-ing on it. It's similar to a typeface called Neon Club Mix, by TypoGraphic.

The spindly geometric type screams "sci-fi" almost to the point of retro camp, but the simple, epic elegance of the letterforms and the cleverness of the rotational symmetry is winning folks over.

There is a Frenchness to it, too, I think, at least in that it reminds me of the type on early games by Ere Informatique, the developer that would go on to make the wildly successful 1992 Dune computer game. Here's the title screen of their first hit, Captain Blood.

One Stephen Thomas recreated the logo from scratch to show how it might look in a more high-quality setting than a cellphone photo of a distant screen — and perhaps to avoid the copyright cull.