Superman Symbol in grey

A spectacular Superman Symbol image, in grey, with the universe in the background.

Find more information about the Superman Symbol, including ways to purchase Superman merchandise that includes the famous Superman Symbol.

It's an excellent image of Superman's famous S Symbol, the one that he had on the chest of his iconic uniform.

Famous rocker wearing the Superman symbol

Rocker Bon Jovi is a well-known fan of Superman.

Notice the prominent Superman symbol tattoo on his left shoulder.

It looks like the red and yellow have faded a bit over the years, but the Superman shield is still clearly visible.

Great to see that Superman is still having an influence on the world!

The Superman Symbol rocks! Literally!

Great thoughts on Superman symbol design

Superman symbol: one of a number of great symbols, great logos, great designs. These are things worth doing right, whether it's toys, games, a piece of equipment, even a cape and costume like Superman's. This website has a great article about the elements of the Superman symbol.

We know about the classic blue uniform with the red cape and boots. However, these authors have done an interesting analysis related to the Superman symbol itself. This is one of several logos that the authors analyze in some detail on their website.

The website authors write about the components of the classic symbol, including:

  • similarities between the Superman logo and the classic Square and Compass symbol used to represent the Master Mason in Freemasonry
  • how the red and yellow color scheme in the Superman symbol reflect the two most important stars in his life: red Rao (home star of Krypton) and yellow Sol (Earth's sun)

After reading the Superman logo article, you do get a better appreciation of the work that goes into creating a famous logo or symbol. You have to think about the elements that you want the symbol to represent and then find achievable ways to incorporate them. What colors convey the correct message? Which objects or symbols would convey strength, power, and overall heroism?

It seems hard to believe, though, that the Superman logo would have been created with such a direct reference to Freemasonry. So, although it is similar, it's possible that the authors found a coincidence in design and nothing more. Or, perhaps they were just inspired unconsciously by the logo design.

The color choice does make a lot of sense to me, though. Red and yellow are primary, powerful colors and they are great for a logo or symbol design. They catch your attention and focus it on the fact that this is not an ordinary man. This man, this Superman, is a powerful being capable of doing great things. He isn't afraid to put himself in public, on the line, either.

If Superman had some from a planet with a green sun, does that mean that his symbol would be green and yellow? Now isn't that a weird idea? That would make for an interesting study at some point: experimenting with different color schemes for Superman's costume and symbol. I have a feeling, though, that nothing would match the power and clarity of the red and yellow Superman symbol. Don't you agree?

Superman symbol transition to the familar version

Rather than drawing this out in excruciating detail, we can present the evolution of the Superman symbol (the famous S logo that is on the chest of Superman's uniform), through the following image:

Image from (their website has a great article about the history of the Superman symbol, by the way)

A few things worth noting:

Many of the logo changes occurred during the period between 1938 and 1942.
  • The more recognizable version of the Superman symbol is believed to have been introduced by celebrated Superman artist Curt Swan. This version is the second to last version of the Superman logo in the diagram above.
  • Swan's version is largely based on the version debuted in 1948.
  • Superman's standard uniform logo has not changed drastically since the late 1940s.
Hard to believe that something so memorable has changed so many times!

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The original Superman symbol

The familiar Superman symbol that is recognized by millions was NOT the original Superman symbol. Let's take a moment and look at that first symbol.

The first appearance of Superman was in Action Comics #1 in 1938. This comic book story gave the world its first look at the now famous blue, red, and yellow uniform of the Man of Steel.

This portion of the cover of Action Comics #1 was the first image of Superman that most people would have seen:
If you look at this version of the symbol, it sort of resembles the pentagonal form that we know today, but it has an awful lot of yellow. One story has it that the chest symbol was supposed to resemble that of a policeman's badge - a shield! You can see the red S on the inside.

However, when you look at panels from the inside of the book, you see something different!

There are two key differences between what you see in this panel and the comic book cover of Action Comics #1:

  • The Superman symbol looks like a triangle with one corner pointed directly downward
  • The symbol is completely yellow with black outlines

That's quite a change between cover and story! Perhaps there was a coloring mistake...

However, within a year, the Superman logo changed to firmly establish the red S on the inside of the Superman symbol.

So how did the Superman logo eventually change to become the familiar Superman symbol that we know and love?

More on that later...

Other resources:

Superman's Logo, Shield, Symbol and it's History!

Superman Logo

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Who is Superman?

Although we make take this knowledge for granted, many people know the story and background history of Superman. The character isn’t exactly new, though: Superman has been around since 1938. Given the amount of time that has elapsed and how there have been many versions of the Superman story, we thought it would be helpful to take a moment and give you, the reader, a recap of who and what Superman is.

The man with three identities

Superman is really three men in one, although they share the same mind, body, and spirit. Let’s look at each of these three identities:

Kal-El of Krypton

Krypton was a large planet orbiting a red giant star many, many light years away from Earth. Krypton had developed a strong and powerful civilization with scientific advancements beyond our own. Krypton was just starting to experiment with space travel when a terrible tragedy occurred.

Scientist Jor-El had discovered that the planet Krypton was unstable and likely to explode. He and his wife Lara had conceived a young child, named Kal-El and he was very worried about the future of his young son. He built a spacecraft and sent the infant Kal-El to distant Earth. Thus, the character known as Superman was an alien, from a destroyed world far from Earth.

Clark Kent

The infant Kal-El’s spacecraft crashed in a field in Kansas. Farmer Jonathan Kent and his wife Martha were the only witnesses to the crash. Finding an infant boy with no apparent parents, they took him home and raised him as their own son. They named him Clark. Initially they did not know that the boy was an alien – they assumed he was human. Little Clark Kent was raised like any other American boy, unaware that he was really Kal-El of Krypton.

Note: in some versions of Superman’s origin story, Kal-El was wrapped in blankets that were used to make his uniform. In others, the famous Superman symbol, the stylized S, was included in the spacecraft, either on the outside of the hull or as an artifact inside the ship.

However, over time, Earth’s lower gravity and yellow sun allowed little Clark Kent to gain super powers. Over time, with the help of these amazing abilities of strength, speed, invulnerability, and flight (among others), Clark Kent learned of his alien heritage.


The third facet of the Superman identity is Superman, the superhero. Clark Kent (aka Kal-El of Krypton) decided that he needed to use his amazing abilities for good. His family helped him create the now famous red and blue uniform with the Superman shield. This uniform was created so as to protect his Clark Kent identity and to prevent his loved ones from harm by vengeful criminals.

So Superman, three men in one, balances alien heritage with a human upbringing and the powers and responsibilities of a superhero. The Superman symbol ties his Kryptonian heritage with his awesome abilities with a human sensibility and sense of responsibility.

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Superman Symbol - the classic

Superman is the most famous and respected superhero in the entire world! The famous S logo, the Superman symbol, the five point shield of power, is instantly visible as a visual representation of:

Since the character's debut in June 1938, Superman, the creation of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, has been the subject of:

  • comic books
  • newspaper comic strips
  • television and radio shows
  • books
  • big screen movies
  • action figures
  • toys
  • video games

Each version and rendition of Superman maintains certain key elements, despite any variations and differences that arise from different writers and artists. The key design elements that persist between versions include things like:

  • Black hair, blue eyes, Caucasian features
  • Blue skin-tight uniform with red boots and red shorts
  • Red cape, can vary in length and decoration


  • Stylized chest symbol: a red "S" on a yellow background

Let's look at the elements of the Superman symbol in more detail:

superman symbol

  • Pentagonal shape, shaped very much like a classic diamond shape
  • Red border surrounding the interior
  • Stylized S, colored red, inside the red border
  • Yellow interior background

The S symbol typically appears in two places on Superman's uniform:

  • Over the center of the chest above the pectoral muscles, with the bottom point aimed towards the navel
  • Prominently on the back of Superman's red cape at roughly the same height as the chest symbol (note: this version of the S symbol has the same shape as the chest Superman symbol, but is entirely yellow with black outlines)

However, there have been many different versions of the Superman symbol to appear over the years. In subsequent articles, we will examine other versions of the Superman symbol. We hope that you'll find this journey into Superman trivia interesting and fun.

Check out the Superman Symbol website for more great info! You can buy Superman merchandise there!