Welcome back everyone, I am Alley Jean and this is my dog, Kingsley. So today we are setting the time machine controls for New York 1942. (Sound of time machine blasting off!)
Today is about women empowerment and the Wonder Woman logo. Do you remember waking up on Saturday morning as a kid and pouring a bowl of your favorite cereal? You could take your time eating it because there was no school. Even having a second bowl. Then curling up on the sofa and turning on your go-to cartoon show. Mine was The Superfriends. I never missed an episode. The intro alone would get my heart racing. Or maybe it was the frosted flakes?
If you don’t know, The Superfriends was a team of D.C. comic superheroes who fought villains every week. As a girl, I of course was mesmerized by Wonder Woman. To see a female fight alongside the mighty Superman and Batman was amazing to me. She was beautiful and strong. She wore a crown, bracelets, and a magic lasso at her side. She is an equal to men.
Here we are in Rye, New York 1942. Kingsley and I start our walk to the neighborhood of Dr. William Marnston who was the creator of Wonder Woman. The neighborhood is so cute with all the kept flowers and white fences. I love all the cars! The Buicks and the Oldsmobiles are so big and have a ton of personality. Kids are playing outside everywhere. They are on bicycles and in the trees, even playing stickball in the street. We come upon the address and start our way up to the door. I notice every neighbor outside on their porch keenly watches us as we approach the door. I wave to a few of them and they return a wave to me.
Now I have to admit I usually do research on the person I’m seeking out, however this time I just quickly read that the Wonder Woman character was first printed in 1941 and was created by a Harvard professor Dr. William Marnston. I wanted to talk to him right at the time the comic took off. So I figured out where he was living at the time and didn’t investigate much else about him personally. Instead, I went down a rabbit hole reading about World War 2 because that’s what was happening in 1942. I was unprepared for this encounter.
I knock on the door. Children answer the door and are immediately won over by Kingsley. They surround him and begin petting him and fawning over him. Kingsley loves it. Then a woman comes to the door.
“May I help you?”
“Yes, I’m Alley Jean. Are you Mrs. Marnston?
“No, I’m Olive Byrne.”
“Oh, I’m sorry I must have the wrong address.”
“No, this is the right address.”
“Is Dr. Marnston here?”
“Yes, come in, I’ll get William for you.”
The children ask if they can play with Kingsley in the backyard.
“Of course, you can, he’ll love it.”
Off they go and everything becomes quiet. I adore the inside of the house. The colors are very midcentury… ochre, orange, and brown. It’s all very neat and simple. The living room has no television, only a radio, and a phonograph. The next decade would bring the television to the average home.
Dr. Marnston strolls in with another woman.
“Hello, I’m Dr. William Marnston and this is my wife Elizabeth, and I see you’ve met Olive. What brings you to our home?”
“I’m Alley Jean and I’m a huge fan of Wonder Woman! I found out you lived close by and I thought I would try and meet you.”
“That’s fantastic, I really appreciate our fans.”
I immediately ask about the logo.
“What was the inspiration behind the logo design? What does it mean to you Dr. Marnston?”
Without hesitating Dr. Marnston replies. “Please call me William. Well, it represents America and truth and justice. It also had to have some relevance to Greek mythology being that Wonder Woman is from ancient Greece. Also, let’s not forget Harry Peter the cartoonist who illustrated the eagle symbol.”
Elizabeth jumps in. “When William was hired by Maxwell Gaines to create a new superhero I insisted it be a woman.”
Olive gets in on the conversation. “She is styled after me.” She clings her two gold bracelets together.
I ask Elizabeth and Olive. “Are you two related or…..?”
“No, no we are all lovers here.” Elizabeth casually states.
She adds. “William and I are married and Olive is our grand polyamorous life partner.”
“Perhaps a little too much information dear.” Dr. Marnston says.
“Oh, nonsense the whole neighborhood already knows. Mrs.You Know Who walked in on the three of us having a bondage session.”
“Would you like some iced tea?” Olive asks, seeming uncomfortable with Elizabeth’s declaration.
She heads to the kitchen without me even answering.
I had to ask. “So are the children …..”
Before I could finish my sentence William states, “Yes they are all our children.”
“Live and let live you know. Seems like you have a very happy family.” I tell them.
“You don’t have to state the obvious to me, Alley Jean.” Elizabeth snaps.
“Oh Elizabeth, she’s just telling the truth,” Olive says in my defense while handing me a glass of iced tea.
“No really, you have an awesome family,” I say.
Elizabeth repeats. “Awesome family. I like that, a bit untraditional but awesome.”
Olive gives me a comforting smile.
“You see Alley Jean, I molded the idea of Wonder Women after Elizabeth and Olive. She has Elizabeth’s brilliance and independence blended with Olive’s build, nurturing nature, and feminist pedigree.” William informs.
“What do you mean feminist pedigree?” I ask.
“I’m Margaret Sanger’s niece,” Olive says.
I blurt out “Get the hell out of here! Sorry, I mean…Really?”
“Yes, it’s true. We are all feminists here. Wonder Woman is psychological propaganda for a new type of woman who should rule the world. Women are more honest than men and I can prove it to you. Let’s show Alley Jean our truth machine.” William proudly states.
Everyone began making their way to what is their home office. As I entered, there on a table snug against the desk was the most peculiar machine. A metal box with several knobs and gauges. Lots of wires and sensors.
William explains,” Elizabeth and I are both psychologists and we have been perfecting our little invention here for some time now. This instrument measures the systolic blood pressure of a person. When that person is asked a question and the blood pressure rises this needle will also rise. This needle draws a line on the paper proving if the person is telling the truth. If the line is straight they are telling the truth. If the line spikes it is a lie. Out of the men and women we have tested, the women are always more truthful.”
“It seems quite accurate,” Elizabeth says.
“Let us show you.”
“It is a lot of fun. It really works.” Olive ensures.
Olive and Elizabeth begin hooking me up. Wrapping spiraled chords around me and my right hand connected to wired sensors. I sit down in a chair as they turn the machine on. Different colored lights come on. The paper begins slowly moving as the needle begins a floaty straight line.
As I sat there watching Dr. Marnston checking the gauges I thought to myself, “What the hell I’m I doing?”
Dr. Marnston fans out five cards facing down and asks me to choose one only showing myself.
I look at the card and place it down.
He then asks me to answer “no” to his four questions.
“Is your card the 4 of hearts?”
“Is your card the 3 of spades?”
“Is your card the Queen of clubs?”
“Is your card the King of diamonds?”
“Your card was the 3 of spades.”
“Yes, it was!” I announce.
Dr. Marnston adjusts some of the controls.
“Alright, I have you all dialed in now. Are you ready for the real questions?”
It was then I realized the connection between this early polygraph and Wonder Woman’s magic lasso of truth. Suddenly it was as if it was the real lasso wrapped around me emitting gold light across the entire room. The lasso I saw as a child breaking down villain after villain.
I never even heard the first questions Dr. Marnston asked… I just shut my eyes and started pouring out the entire truth.
“My name is Alley Jean…
I am a time traveler …
I’m from the future, 2022…
I love logos…
I created a time machine to find people who made awesome logos
I’m from Michigan, I really don’t live in New York
I love dogs
I love cats for only a couple of minutes
I think you guys are great
Wonder Woman inspires millions of girls and women for 80 years and beyond
She is made into a television series, and several movies
The Wonder Woman logo evolves into a powerful symbol of empowerment
In the future women will have all the opportunities of men
In the future women hold important roles in every industry
They even become astronauts flying around in space
I like to eat chocolate when I’m sad…
I slowly open my eyes to three very bewildered faces staring at me. Then simultaneously all four of us look down at the results. The line was straight the whole time.
( I can’t believe I just told them everything! )
“Do you know what this means?” Dr. Marnston exclaims.
Elizabeth stands and answers, “Yes, it means this damn thing isn’t working!”
She adds, “Check the controls, something must not be right. Quite a story there. Time traveling with a golden retriever. Women flying in space. You should be writing comics Alley Jean. ”
“I don’t see anything wrong with the test.” Dr. Marnston claims.
The children fill the house with laughter and make their way to us. Kingsley is sporting a new red cape. I take advantage and quickly start removing the sensors off of me. Elizabeth keeps rambling on while Olive still looks stunned.
“Thank you everyone this has been an extraordinary visit but Kingsley and I must be on our way.”
I turn around one last time and say, “Well, its been emotional.”
Kingsley and I exit and start making our way down the sidewalk.
Behind me Dr. Marnston shouts, “Alley Jean wait!”
I stop and we walk towards each other. He is holding a long torn piece of the testing paper in his hand.
He looks straight into my eyes and asks, “If everything you said was true, then we must win the war?”
“Yes, we win the war.”
A breakdown of the wonder woman logo
The official Wonder Woman logo has gone through several transitions since the 40s. But the color palette of bright yellow, gold, red and black along with the “W” and the eagle symbolism has remained rooted in the design. Because they stuck to these foundational forms, the Wonder Woman logo and brand have stayed recognizable and loved.
- Yellow and Gold: The yellow and gold color scheme psychologically draws our attention and emotions around the idea of compassion, magic, love, optimism, wisdom, godliness, perfection, power and courage.
- Red: The color red is iconic and represents the United States of America, energy, confidence, beauty, and intelligence.
- Black & White: Most of the logos contain black and white in them to create space, simplicity, and elegance.
The twin “W” in the logo is a very clever way to use the initials of Wonder Woman along with creating the idea of the eagle. Initial logos also known as monograms, are great because they are easy to understand and personal to the brand.
The eagle symbolizes freedom, truth, justice, and women empowerment.
The most current logo version is my favorite. This logo shows more strength than all of them and they added a little notch to the center of the “W’s” to symbolize the eagle head. The three-dimensional effect makes this logo pop. It is gorgeous and could be in a beautiful bright yellow and/or gold too.
Every generation has a special relationship with Wonder Woman.
Join me next time for another Alley Jean’s Brand Time Machine travel!
Brand Strategist, Web Designer & SEO for Women
“2022 Local Business Person of the Year Ann Arbor, Michigan