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When I sat down to design my latest group of shirts, I had one thought, “If Ravnica was a real city, what type of group would each guild be?” I think that each guild is so flavorful that it’s fun to imagine what role or function they would provide in actual city life. So, with that in mind I began the interesting and often hilarious process of reading the Ravnica, and Return to Ravnica stories and flavor articles. That was a treat in and of itself.
They should have called it: “Guild Leaders Gone Wild.” The Ravnica storyline is like listening to a small child explain his favorite movie’s plot in an incoherent rambling mess. “…and then the giant blob fought the giant demon and they threw him into a lava pit and the angel crashed the flying boat into the courtroom and the police officer became a ghost and went to the ghost world and then the ghost world floated away.”
Once I had finally digested all the information about the wild and wacky world of Ravnica, I began to brainstorm…and this is what I came up with:
Society of Arbiters
We are judge, jury, and executor.
A group of lawyers, judges, and senators? I wanted something evocative of a law firm or a society of lawyers, with just a hint of security. I like the clean look of a lot of Society logos, and I really dig the fact that most of them have some words or phrases on them, which felt perfect for this guild. I wanted the main logo to be placed on the chest like a badge, to further sell the enforcer vibe. And, what says enforcer more that a sleeve badge? NUTHIN’!
The Church of the Living Temple
At the Church of the Living Temple there’s no “I” in “team.” But there is a “you” in “us.”
The biggest surprise for me when I was reading up on Ravnica lore was the fact that the Selesnya Conclave are a bunch of creepy religious weirdos. They are more of a cult than the Cult of Rakdos, oddly enough.
And, if you were raised religious like I was, you may have attended a lot of creepy weird religious events. Events like church camp, and “faith jamborees.” So I wanted to capture the magic of the awkward church event, including but not limited to “FUN MOM FONTS!” Look at that font arch! The things they can do with computers these days, I’ll tell ya….
And what religious shirt would be complete without a quote? Can you spot all the references? Of course you can. It’s not hard. Seriously, don’t gloat.
The Hellbenders play by their own rules……NONE. Secret clubs, blood feuds, all night parties, lava. There’s something for everyone.
Illicit activities, secret night clubs, weird burlesque shows, murder…it’s basically an episode of Sons of Anarchy.
I’m not sure how you can look at this guild and not think Motorcycle Club. I mean we can’t say “sex” or “meth” on Magic cards, but the sex and meth is clearly implied. Try these card names on for size:
Rakdos Meth Freak
Rix Maadi, Sex Dungeon
So, the flavor of this shirt had to be an MC cut, which was really fun to make! I’ll let you figure out all the nuances. But, if you’re stumped on the diamond badge, just Google “1%er”.
The skull on the back took a while to get just right. I wanted it to look like a demon, but it had to have fire, and horns. I also wanted the skull to look like a jester, to go with the weird “Dark Carnival” vibe going on this time around. I think I found the sweet spot? I also had a ton of fun making the fake patch stitching, which looks rad silk screened!
The Math Dragons, Local 241
The Math Dragons Local 241 know how to fix it……probably because they broke it. Listen, science isn’t exactly a science.
I think everyone focuses on The Izzet’s experiments, and forgets the fact that their day job is basically just a public works group. They’re janitors with a hobby.
I grew up in a very rural area of Pennsylvania, where unions and Rotary clubs are everywhere. So I’ve seen a lot of union badges growing up, and they are usually insane masterpieces. Most unions have some bizarre name, weird art mascot, and a number designation.
So, I knew that this guild HAD to be a union.
I think it’s hilarious that a group of idiot scientists are in charge of maintaining the public works of Ravnica….that seems like a pretty good idea. I knew I wanted the logo to involve gears, steam, and electricity, but I wasn’t sure how. Then I realized that the dragon heads in this block basically look like gears, and it kind of all fell into place. Let’s also not overlook the huge graphic design “no-no” of putting pure red next to pure blue. But, hey it works! Sometimes you want your edges to vibrate. (Am I right?)
And listen, I’m not immune to my own charms. I high-five myself every time I read “Local 241″, I’m quite proud of that. I’m a “Joke-o-Genius.”
The circle of life is beautiful, but it’s also kind of gross.
Would you believe the entire project started with this idea? I designed a version of this logo last year, on a whim. I always loved the phrase “Rot Farmer” , and how can you not see this group as an organic farming co-op!?
I wish I had more of a story for this, but this was the cleanest, and simplest to design. I wanted it to look like a very simple organic logo. One tricky thing was if I made the skull solid white, it made it look too GW. So, I changed the outline to white, and the fill to black, so that the design had more BG than GW.
I just like the fact that this guild is about bugs and mushrooms, instead of zombies, it’s way more interesting to me. Obviously, you’re going to get a few zombies, but still, they’re plant based.
And there you have it! As always, thanks for your interest!
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