Compass Design for the Midgard iPad App

Fantasy Compass for Midgard

The Midgard iPad Atlas was released last year. I created the map (more on that later) and the compass art. Today I’ll cover the different sketches that started the process, and the iterations between those and the final piece.

Designs for the Midgard atlas app for Kobold Press
Compass Designs

I wanted to create a compass that was evocative of the setting whilst also working on an iPad. The setting has old Eastern European themes, some hefty norse influences (no surprises given the name) and a liberally seasoning of steampunk with some gnome automata makers and a couple of airships. So there’s a wide spectrum of influences to draw from. I started by creating three rough draft compasses – 1 to 3 above.

  1. Very abstract – with a slight hint of a curling dragon.
  2. Again some hints of dragon in the head and tail, with some features reminiscent of stylistic elven design from the Peter Jackson Lord of the Rings movies.
  3. Straightforward Victoriana pocketwatch compass – harking towards the steampunk elements.

The guys at Open Design went with 2. but wanted to go more explicit with the dragon motif, ideally mimicking the dragon in the Midgard logo. I worked up a version which was 70% complete with detailed line art and some basic shading – 4.

They were pretty happy with 4, but concerned that the aspect ratio would cause it to take up too much space on the screen, or that it would need to be shrunken down so small that the detail would be lost. I shrunk down the tail and worked up the metal finish to create the final piece.

Fantasy Compass for Midgard
Midgard Compass

All images are © Kobold Press, 2012, used with permission.

2 thoughts on “Compass Design for the Midgard iPad App”

  1. good day! can i use this icon for my own purposes pls reply cause i really wanted your unique compass thank you in advance hoping you make more unique icon with touch of yesteryear.

    1. I’m afraid not. This is a commissioned piece of work, and as such permission for use is not mine to give. I’m glad you like my work.

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