Dirt Rag Magazine

A brief history of the Dirt Rag cover logo


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The cover of Issue #1 featured the catchy name “Dirt Rag,” a liberal use of clip art and the immortal slogan “It’s A Big World—Ride on it!” But no official logo.

 

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By Issue #2 we’d adopted the above logo that featured a unique, scrawling font (created by Steve Chaszeyka of wizardairbrushgraphics.com).

 

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In October 1989 we introduced die-cut stickers with the original logo—in a dazzling yellow/red color combination that would become Dirt Rag’s de facto “team colors,” adorning the initial run of team jerseys that went out to staff, contributors and close associates.

 

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Speaking of colors, Issue #28 sported our first-ever color cover, but it wasn’t until DR #29 that we took a paintbrush to the logo. Despite the switch to color covers, the logo remained mostly a black-and-white affair for the next several years.

 

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Sometimes we made exceptions to the “standard” logo treatment. For instance, when the cover artist incorporated a stylized logo into their original work. The above cover from DR #32—created by then Art Director Mark Tierney—is one such example.

 

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During his tenure as Art Director, Mark created a new logo that featured a white “DIRT” inside a black box, stacked above a lower case “rag” that had a marbled texture to it. The new logo dropped on the cover of DR #56. Occasionally the “rag” was lightened, or even colorized, as the cover art dictated—but the stacked logo remained essentially unchanged for the next several years.

 

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Jeff Guerrero was Art Director when we switched to a horizontal logo on DR #84. The new design featured a white “DIRT” inside a black box, and black “RAG” inside a white box. Both the letters and the boxes had “wavy” edges. The letter “R” in “DIRT” incorporated an art icon, and the R-art usually changed from issue to issue. The horizontal treatment allowed more room for the tag line “The Mountain Bike Forum,” which we introduced on the cover of DR #80.

 

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The horizontal logo was modified for DR #111. The black box around the “DIRT” was eliminated, which allowed more of the cover art to show through.

 

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Current Art Director Matt Kasprzyk modified the horizontal logo for DR #160 when he sharpened up the wavy edges on the letters and borders. By this time we’d already stopped using the R-art (the final issue with the R-art was DR #156).

 

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On the cover of DR #167 Matt reversed the white/black portions, creating a black “DIRT” and a white “RAG” (with the word RAG inside a black box). Since DR #167 the black “DIRT” logo has been the predominant version, with the white “DIRT” version appearing occasionally, when aesthetics dictated the switch.

 

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One notable exception: We added a splash of silver ink to the cover of Issue #176 to commemorate our 25th anniversary. Clink!

Keep reading

We’ve published a lot of stuff in 26 years of Dirt Rag. Find all our Blast From the Past stories here.

 

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