You'll find many subtle hints about J.V. Hilliard's Pittsburgh roots, both in his writing and in the branding and identity that I've created for him. One of the main themes he wanted to achieve was a melding of the medieval world with the Steel City's iconic black & gold colors.
The chosen fonts gracefully ease from a strong medieval calligraphic style to a simple sans-serif look for easy readability.
A modified version of Augusta Regular was used for the logotype. Estonia gives a handwritten, calligraphic vibe for the stories about The Realm of Warminster. For the standard copy, as well as for the initials in the monogram, Volkhov lends a strong serif feel simillar to that seen throughout the fantasy genre. Lastly, Raleway serves as a simple, easy-to-read font for the smaller links in the footer.
What's a fantasy series without some badass dragons? Stories of their power and might have echoed down to us from antiquity so they clearly had to be a focal point of Hilliard's branding. Jagged angles and swooping curves combine with gentle asymmetricality to show movement and might, as well as a nod to his publisher, Dragon Moon Press.
Conventions and book signings give J.V. Hilliard a huge opportunity to promote his work. The first thing I created was a card with his logo and website on the front and a bold rendition of the map of Warminster on the reverse side.
Anyone who has ever gone to any kind of convention knows that you collect a ton of swag throughout the day. Whether it's buying memorabilia or just picking up freebies, you're going to need something to carry all of those goodies in so this tote bag was designed to meet that need. And if you're a fan of table-top RPGs, like the author, and a wide swath of his fanbase, you're also going to need a bag to carry all of your dice in, thus the various drawsting bags depicting the various sigils of the Realm of Warminster. .
While brainstorming some fun and unique marketing ideas I realized something: autographs can be a dime a dozen. Sometimes they can be so impersonal and formulaic. A quick glance; a "thanks for coming" and it's over. What could change that? Then I thought of wax seals carrying the mark of great Lords; an authenticator as well as a tamper-proof seal that it was legitimate. That seemed impractical, and potentially messy, so why not design a stamp instead?
With a straightfoward, clean design it is user-friendly and the main sales tool for the author. It averages several thousand hits per month, which has boosted sales far past the publisher's expectations.
I also created and, until recently, independently operated J.V. Hilliard's vimeo page, which houses his podcast: The Realm. I was honored to appear on it and have a fun chat about the work we've done to build The Realm of Warminster, as well as some of our passions outside of work. I still say Wolverine is way better than Deadpool, but that's just me.
Would you like to know more? Let's Talk.
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