On Designing for The Lord of the Rings

We’ve always reinvented, reimagined, or translated by capturing the spirit of a fandom, genre, or style and distilling down to its core. Often that meant capturing the visual sweep of a Dante’s jacket from Devil May Cry V or the angular clean symmetry of Star Trek’s uniforms. We nod to the details of the game like with the buster arm zipper on the Mega Jacket or the badge inside-pocket of our Starfleet pieces. But designing from a book is something else entirely.

We can’t do that with The Lord of the Rings. Sure, Tolkien left sketches and miles of notes on how he felt things looked, but every one of us who read his words would paint a different picture of the fearsome Nazgûl we escaped and of the noble warriors we followed. Faramir might have looked like his own reflection to Tolkien, like the talented David Wenham to others, or had the face of each reader’s own little brother. Middle Earth is different in every individual’s imagination. 

Middle Earth Enterprises reached out to us because they trusted us to honor the literary world and the care with which it was created. So we trusted ourselves too. We closed our eyes, breathed deeply and stepped into a brand-new Middle Earth. Our designs are rooted in the text, in the lore, and in the shared vision created from Tolkien’s words, but the vision is entirely our own. This is a project I've always dreamed of working on. It’s a new chapter for Volante Design, and I'm so excited to have you join us.

Willow

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