Ira Schnapp’s personal history is shrouded in mystery, despite the fact that his revolutionary lettering style for DC Comics continues to live on and inspire lettering and comic artists today. Even the DC Comics website neglected to publish a bio for a man who helped develop DC Comics’ “house style.” The website merely credits him as a letterer.
During his employment with DC Comics from 1937 to 1968, Schnapp created the lettering designs for every cover, and the conventions he created for comic book cover logos became the standard in the comic book industry.
“Everyone’s been influenced by Schnapp’s ubiquitous DC cover logos (and hundreds of house ads), whether subliminally or consciously,” said illustrator and comic book historian Arlen Schumer. “Certainly every successive DC Comics letterer has, in addition to other comic book letterers and logo designers. Schnapp’s works are as beautiful and Americana as the classic hand-lettered posters and fruit crates of the 19th and 20th centuries that have enjoyed post-modern revivals and reconsiderations among graphic designers, art directors, typographers and calligraphers of the 21st century.”
—Natalie Boyd, Print Magazine