Branding tips from Westeros

Amazing characters, epic battles, alliances and betrayals, the battle to claim the iron throne and off course, Dragons. This is what comes in mind when we think of the universe of Game of Thrones, which is undoubtedly, one of the most remarkable TV-shows of our time. Now that the show is coming to an end, i want to use this opportunity to say a little about one aspect on the show which can teach us on how a logo or a symbol can be used to represent a community or a group of people for who they are, what they stand for and their ideology.

The story of game of thrones (GOT) takes place in a fictional continent of Westeros dominated by powerful families and kingdoms under the rule of a single ruler who rules from the iron throne in Kings landing. After the king’s death wars and schemes emerged among the different kingdoms and noble families to claim the iron throne. Well that was just to give a little background story

All major families (Houses) in GOT have a symbol which is unique to them. They use it on their banners, their castle walls, on the breast plate of their armor and all official documents.

In order to make this article short, I will use just one of the houses, to illustrate how a symbol can be used to represent the identity of a person or a group of people. Let’s take house Targaryen for our example. The symbol used as the symbol of house Targaryen is a red 3 headed dragon with his tail forming a circle around it. The logo has been design to inspire terror.

The Symbol of House Targaryen with the slogan Fire and Blood

How does this symbol represent them for who they are? This sigil gives out who they are in 2 aspects

1. History

The Targaryen are not originally from Westeros they are from Valaria another city found on the other side of the see from Westerous. They were known to have a special ability to connect with dragons and control them. Before, the seven kingdoms where not united under one ruler. The existed as independent states ruled by noble families or kings. When Valaria was destroyed Aegon with his 2 sister wives came to Westeros with 3 dragons and conquered 6 of the seven kingdoms and crown himself king. That explains why the symbol has 3 headed dragon representing Aegon the conqueror and his 2 sister wives as unified house.

2. Personality

Targaryen are known to be “take all” people. They never settle for less when they go for something they go for all. Aegon wanted all of Westeros same as Daeneys. With them you either submit to their rule or you are an enemy. They are fond of executing their enemies by burning them alive. Their sigil is accompanied by the slogan “Fire and Blood” that is what they offer to all those who stand on their way. That can explain why the 2 headed dragon on their logo is red, red for blood the overall color combination and texture of the symbol itself inspires terror.

In our modern context where we don’t have kings and castles but businesses and organizations, Logos are used to represent a company for who they are and what they stand for. So, we should make sure that when designing a logo for our organization, just as House Targaryen in GOT, it should derive its meaning from history and personality traits that are unique to us. Because that is what makes the company who it is.

Customers, when interacting with your brand should be able to have a particular feeling of how your business practices looks like, and perceive of voice you will use to interact with them. The bottom line is, a meaningful logo is the one that represents more of your personality, than your product

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