Azorius was close and the shape was good. I like the triangle’s implication of a solid hierarchy, but I never liked the literal labyrinth in the center. Even though the Azorius are bureaucratic in nature, I do not believe they would self-identify this way… a maze would not be how they represented themselves on their business cards. We wanted to recreate the spirit and shape without the maze. Richard went about the task of using the law runes that we established on their armor and in their magic to serve the same visual purpose. Now I felt that the icon was on-message, would look good in the art, on the cards, and on a t-shirt. I was excited! Then I showed it to Cavotta. He asked if it would hold up in embroidery. I swear to god, he said that. “Embroidery.” I peed a little and lost vision in my right eye for seven minutes. I’m fairly certain it was a mild rage-stroke. Anyways, the point being: that’s the sort of scrutiny these things were under.
The original was too hectic for my taste. I wanted something more refined and tightly executed. Although the Izzet are chaotic themselves to some degree, I do not think Niv-Mizzet would appreciate his personal seal reflecting this. Plus, I had license to push this one pretty far… the flavor text from the original Izzet Signet is “The Izzet signet is redesigned often, each time becoming closer to a vanity portrait of Niv-Mizzet,” after all.
I felt the Rakdos Guild Symbol lacked the same touches the Rakdos guild itself lacked the first time around. After I floundered on the redesign myself, Richard swooped in for a win. Notice how the horn/knife structures are informed by the motif page.
Again, I felt the original was too preachy on the guild’s ethos. The “snake-recycling” element felt like it was saying “garbage man”… not how the Golgari would self-identify at all. We wanted a symbol that kept the general shape, but that “The Swarm” would rally around proudly.
Selesnya just needed some TLC and clean-up for aesthetic reasons. This was an Adam-Richard combo.
Didn’t touch it. It was already perfect.
Gruul was a beast! (Pun intended.) The original tree-fire/Cyclops-eye was just a casserole of look-bad. We wanted something more tribal… something that could be scratched and smeared on to surfaces as a territorial warning. I wiffed on this one. Badly. I tried twenty or thirty variations and none of them worked. This was another case of a Richard Whitters save.
This just needed to commit to the nouveau shapes that the original teased. You’ll see why in a few months.
Dimir just needed some clean up and a rebuild. The difference is subtle and purely aesthetic.
Lastly, Boros. It was a big departure but got nailed down quickly. I wanted something solid, like their architecture, that felt more like propaganda. Within minutes of me uttering that desire Adam had a version very close to this final design, which I am very happy with.