Like many people, I was introduced by the HBO adaptation–I’m sure to the chagrin of the longtime readers. I began reading the first novel while watching the first season, quickly becoming hopelessly obsessed. I basically disappeared for about five months, devouring all five books in the series, culminating in this borderline-depression when there were no more books to read.

I’m not entirely sure of the full impact the books had on my social life, but there was definitely a span there where friends stopped calling.

I didn’t brand each house–George R.R. Martin did, and whether or not it was intentional, the result is an integral piece in the success the series. All I wanted to do was give them a sort of unexpected and unified visual language.

The sigils really do act as branding, in that they give each character formal distinctions–Lannister’s use of crimson and gold, for example, sets that family apart from the rest on a purely visual level. But they also serve to give a vague indication of the values and psychology of the wearer. That same crimson and gold alludes to power and wealth and vitality, and when combined with the symbol of a rearing lion, tells a holistic story about the prominence of that family and their importance within the narrative. Conversely, the white and grey of House Stark is a straightforward representation of them–stoic, bleak, rather depressing. House Bolton’s pink and red ‘flayed man’ sigil pretty much screams psychopath.

What I find most fascinating, however, is the fact that these ‘brands’ exist only as the written word. A Song of Ice and Fire is devoid of illustrations (other than the maps, of course), and yet when we read a description of, say, a battle between Lannister forces and Stark forces, we immediately create a mental image of screaming gray-clad men rushing into an army of red, despite not being part of the exact verbal description of a battle. These brands become such a key part of the reading experience–Night’s Watch black might as well be Tiffany blue or UPS brown or T-Mobile pink. via

My interpretation of various House Sigils from George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series of fantasy novels. Done as a personal project to keep my love affair with the series fresh while waiting for the next novel.

Darrin Crescenzi is a New York City-based graphic designer and in-house talent for Nike Brand Design. Last summer, inspired by the über popular book series and episodic show Game of Thrones, the typography guru and branding maestro created this limited edition poster imagining the seals for the majority of Houses in the long running fantasy story. The $35 limited edition, hand-numbered edition of 250, 18″ × 24″ poster with gold foil stamp on 80# Mohawk superfine eggshell cover stock, went viral and sold out immediately.

We just love the elegant, smart print and envy his talent and design prowess.

Also, check out his superhero-inspired Nike uniforms he created for the Dream Team USA Basketball. and this film he created for Nike’s Flyknit technology.

We’re big fans, Darrin.


The nice quotes are from Fast.Co.Design, read more there.

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