The Bloodletters’ Cartouche

Across the very fictional landscape of Carda, monogram-like devices called cartouches are used to identify families, craftspeople, businesses and other people or factions.  I’ve been struggling with the Bloodletters’ cartouche for a while now, and since I’m participating in Art Fight this month, I wanted to finally nail it down, so others might use it as a reference if they decide to draw Corlette.

The Bloodletters are an organization that aims to control the use, the spread and, perhaps, the very existence of magic in Carda.  They hunt, punish and even execute magicians, all under the guise of keeping the non-magical population safe.  I wanted their symbol to be elegant enough to be called a “cartouche”, but also wicked/corporate enough to feel menacing.  Here’s what I came up with:

Clockwise from top left: the official cartouche, used on documents, uniforms, pins, etc; the ‘casual’ cartouche, used for messages, graffiti, etc; the fleam.  Fleams were once used by doctors to let blood from patients, so they make a nice symbol for the Bloodletters.  I wanted the main cartouche to have a bit of a fleamy feel, and I think I got that.  I think the hard angles help to make it imposing, but it’s not totally brutalist either.

…and now, if I get nothing else done for Art Fight, at least I did this! 💪

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