I won an award!


AwardWell, I won it three years ago—I only just received it! Back in 2001 I was in London and doing a bit of work for various companies there, one of whom was a game publisher called Hogshead Publishing, who at the time were putting out, among other things, the excellent Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay. I worked on the logo and cover layout of one of the WFRP tomes, Realms of Sorcery, and also designed the cover of a bizarre roleplaying game called Nobilis. It so happened that at the next Origins Awards, ‘the industry’s premier awards for recognizing excellence in hobby games publishing’, Nobilis won ‘Best Graphic Design of a Book Format Product of 2002’, an accolade I share with James Wallis and Carol Johnson, who did the book’s interior.

NobilisIf you’ve ever seen a bunch of gaming products on the shelf you’ll notice that they all tend to fall into the ‘bright colours, monsters and buxom warrior women’ kind of mould, but James, who owned Hogshead (and did most of the work) had the courage to do something different with this product. We’d sit in the pub next to his office and discuss his ideas for it over a few pints. Instead of battling beasties, he wanted to use the stark image of the Art Nouveau sculpture Sphinx Mysterieux by Charles van der Stappe.

Game of PowersThe job was a graphic designers dream—given such excellent source material, my instant solution was to feature it large and closely cropped with a simple yet elegant logo treatment. The image wraps over the covers and the bust’s pupil forms the ‘o’ of Nobilis on the spine. I had the pleasure of designing for a large format square hardcover, unusual in publishing. Inside, James did a beautiful job with the layout, with full page, surreal B&W illustrations and a perfectionist’s eye for detail. Everything about the book made it stand out from the usual gaming fare (including the content, I might add).

I continued the concept with the follow up, The Game of Powers. They’re jobs I’m still proud of—every review of Nobilis I’ve read praises the design. So it’s nice to have this surprisingly solid and well-made award sitting on my desk three years on. Not only does it remind me of a job well done, but it takes me back to London, 2001, and the wonderful people I met there.

7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. steelbuddha
    Oct 07, 2005 @ 03:27:19

    Wow. Well-deserved!
    And thanks for helping legitimize the hobby of gaming by bringing real art to the design of the medium.

  2. UniversalHead
    Oct 07, 2005 @ 10:29:07

    Thanks mate. Certainly I would love to see gaming more mainstream, and for it to shake off the geeky image a little. The problem is, many gamers fall into a stereotype, the same way game art does. I dropped into a game store the other day with my girlfriend and it was full of overweight, black-T shirt wearing, smelly men … I kid you not, a pall of BO hung over the shop … it’s very difficult to convince someone about the joys of gaming when their worst cliches about gamers are confirmed—and with such olfactory force!

  3. Hugh Todd
    Oct 09, 2005 @ 14:41:43

    Nothing like a bit of external validation to encourage you. Congrats!

  4. anaglyph
    Oct 09, 2005 @ 20:47:29

    Nice toga!
    Well done Pete. You can also use it as a player piece for an omnipotent Goddess if the need arises!

  5. Pil
    Oct 13, 2005 @ 20:30:34

    I am VERY tardy in reading this blog – but congratulations! That makes me smile. You deserve it.

  6. steelbuddha
    Oct 15, 2005 @ 02:52:24

    It’s a stereotype that is unfortunately all too common. I have found myself concealing this hobby from people until they know me well enough not to mentally paint that black t-shirt on me.
    I have exemplary hygiene, some degree of personal style, and admirable social skills. Being interested in games as a modern medium for art and literature doesn’t suddenly change that.
    Ach, weel. It’s not the worst sort of prejudice to have to deal with. At least we’re also assumed to be brilliant, if eccentric, intellectuals.

  7. The Only Living Boy
    Oct 20, 2005 @ 04:00:14

    That’s some extremely impressive artwork. I probably won’t be able to find those books in Europe, though.