A Game of Themes

A couple weeks ago, I decided it would be a fun design exercise to explore a series of themes based around houses from A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin. It comprised of three parts: creating a look & feel for each house, designing a base template to skin, and then applying that look and feel to the base theme.

I started by throwing together some style tiles for each house, looking to explore colors, texture and typography:

Next, I explored some potential layouts:

The first layout felt a little too corporate and the second one felt a little too complex, so I ended up going with the last layout, which I thought would fit the multiple skins best. Here’s the skins applied to that theme layout:

House Stark


Built on shades of grey with a desaturated blue accent, Winter is like the Starks: dark, cold, and stoic. Winter features Titillium, a thick sans-serif to ward off the impending cold, and Crimson Text, a serif as sharp as Valyrian steel.

House Lannister


House Lannister drips danger, arrogance and power. Pride featurs rich crimsons and indulgent golds that hint at wealth. Domine is an enchanting and seductive header font, which is paired with the warmth ofSource Sans Pro.

House Targaryan


House Targaryan is the biggest challenge, because while “fire and blood” evokes crimson and black, Daenerys herself is hot and white like the desert sun. She is sand and stone yet as soothing as an oasis. I decided to represent Daenerys with rich browns, tans, and blues. Queen uses Gentium Basic reflects her royal roots, while Cantarell hides danger behind grace and poise.

I don’t see these mockups going much further than this, but it was overall a pretty fun experiment.

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3 thoughts on “A Game of Themes

  1. I stumbled upon this site by accident. It’s hard to believe that all this beautiful work doesn’t seem to have any comments.

    I would like insight on your thought processes in choosing the colors. I love all the backgrounds except the black for the Starks. I’m thinking something like dark brown, espresso. Or charcoal. Black is so overused.

    Where did you get the words that appear in the top left corner of each house’s page? I think you could write a whole article on the process of creating these pages. I’m sure I’m not the only one that would read it.


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