Title — Ivan — the terrible
Year — 2019
Design Sector — Symbol Design
Art Director — David Bromley
Client — Algonquin College of Applied Arts & Science

An illustration of Ivan — The terrible, in colour

About Ivan — the terrible


Ivan IV Vasilyevich, commonly known as Ivan the Terrible, was the first Moscow ruler born after its independence. The theme of the symbol is dystopic and symbolizes war and blood-shed. It is disturbing as it depicts a horror scene from history that relates to the mass murders and other evil actions of Ivan and Macarius. Ivan was discovering religion when he fell under the pray of a metropolitan known as Macarius — who had impressed upon Ivan the need for Muscovy to become a bastion of Orthodox Christianity. From then on, Ivan and Macarius conspired together to continue their evil acts and even began calling Muscovy the Third Rome.

An illustration of Ivan — The terrible, in greyscale


Research | Mind Map | Sketches

The explorations will include mind mapping, pages of sketches and discovery of colour combinations. The visual design is influenced by the Russian coat of arms illustrated with a black two-headed eagle crowned with two imperial crowns. The symbol represents Macarius preaching in a rested state and is incredibly peaceful to look at. On the contrary, the colors used tell a different story. The use of the dark red depicts the bloodshed and war caused by Ivan while pursuing his hateful propaganda, as preached by Macarius. The use of the color black symbolizes dark times that saw the rise of a real-life villain who went to any limit to kill and torture those that he pleased.

A photograph of research notes on Ivan — the terrible



The parts of the design come together in harmony to elaborate on the visual story that is being communicated. The bible held by Macarius and the Christian Cross signifies Ivan’s greater reliance on religion to fulfil his motives and give an end to his evil deeds. The round visual element surrounding Macarius’ head is the eternal source of light emitted in the life of Ivan. The crown on Macarius’ head and the two-headed eagle set the royal tone. The pointy wings of the eagle portray the imagery of the era. Overall, the elements are well set up to bring the idea forward and the overall symbol exemplifies the portrayal of the art of influencing and the power of persuasion by Macarius.

A photograph of the final illustration of Ivan — The terrible

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