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Style guide for hit show The Last Kingdom

NBCUniversal recently briefed us to complete a style guide and brand identity for hit historical drama The Last Kingdom, to be used across merchandise, packaging and gaming. The series, which aired on BBC Two in 2016 was produced by Carnival Films.

Inspired by the turbulent tale of the Danes and Saxons at war, we developed visual assets spanning pattern, typeface, colour, quotes and icons that capture the essence and spirit of the series.

The graphic style represents the clash of cultures following the Viking invasions by combining an archaic map of Britain and a dividing line of flames with distinctive identities for each of the tribes: primal and fiery for the Danes; ethereal, muted and unadorned for the Saxons.

Core icons were developed into unique graphics and patterns for both tribes, comprising a Saxon shield, cross and crown, and a Danish shield, crossed swords and ship. There is also a third set of icons and patterns for the hero, Uhtred, who is torn between the two sides.

We created an additional collection of graphics offering a more stylised direction for future product lines. Drawing inspiration from graphic novels and 1970s movie posters, these illustrative, expressive options further demonstrate the divide between the styling and values of the Saxons and Danes. It includes illustration styles, patterns and decorative typefaces, with an exaggerated palette of icy blues for the Saxons and vibrant, earthier shades for the Danes.

The style guide provides a practical kit of parts that can be configured and used diversely across The Last Kingdom merchandise.

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