From dragons to Dovahkiin: The Skyrim logo history, symbol and evolution

Skyrim Logo

If you’re a fan of the video game world, and you love the genres of fantasy and adventure, you might have found yourself wondering about Skyrim logo history before. The Skyrim Elder Scrolls symbol is one of the most recognizable emblems ever to appear in the gaming landscape. 

The image can be found on numerous pieces of merchandise across the globe. 

Despite being the fifth game in the Elder Scrolls video game series, Skyrim is perhaps one of the most well-known titles ever produced by Bethesda Softworks. Though other titles in the Elder Scrolls collection achieved relatively high levels of success, few received the same acclaim as Skyrim.

You’re in the right place if you’ve ever wondered where the Skyrim dragon logo came from, what it means, or why it became such an iconic emblem in video game history

Today, we will provide a behind-the-scenes look into the meaning and development of the Skyrim logo.  

Where did the Skyrim logo come from?

The Skyrim Elder Scrolls symbol, otherwise referred to simply as the Skyrim logo, was designed specifically for the fifth installment in the Elder Scrolls game series: Skyrim. 

This action role-playing video game, set in a fantasy world with some references to Nordic culture, was published by Bethesda Softworks in 2011. It follows the Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. 

The game, set 200 years after the events which take place in the previous title, takes place within a fictional location known as Skyrim. The main story focuses on the customizable character chosen by the player, known as the “Dragonborn.” 

This protagonist has unique powers and abilities, which are developed throughout the course of the game every time the player defeats a dragon. 

Upon release, Skyrim received massive critical acclaim. Analysts and consumers alike praised the phenomenal character advancement arc in the title, as well as its world design, combat, and visual effects. Many game lovers today even consider Skyrim to be one of the best games ever made. 

Since its introduction, Skyrim has continued to evolve, appearing on new consoles and introducing DLC (downloadable content) add-ons for players to enjoy. A separate virtual reality version of the title was even produced and released in 2017 for the PlayStation VR headset. 

The game’s rich storyline, as well as its replay-ability factor, has made it one of the most profitable titles ever produced by Bethesda. The game had shipped 30 million copies within five years of its release and is now one of the best-selling titles in history. 

Skyrim logo history: The Skyrim Elder Scrolls symbol

The Skyrim logo is unique to Elder Scrolls V, the fifth installment in the Elder Scrolls series. It was designed specifically for the title in 2011 and has remained the same ever since, even with the introduction of new DLC content for the game. 

The official logo, presented on the game title screen and box for the product, featured the name of the game, as well as the Skyrim dragon logo, in gradients of silver on a black background. However, versions of the design have been reproduced in other colors and formats over the years. 

Many versions of the logo depicting just the Skyrim symbol (the dragon) are depicted in black and white.

Skyrim Logo

The official logo uses a unique, serif-style font for the name “Skyrim,” written in all uppercase letters. 

The characters appear in a textured silver format, making them look a little like worn metal or steel. Above this name, we see the smaller title: “The Elder Scrolls V,” in a slightly more decorative, script-style font, matching the same color palette. 

Perhaps the most compelling component of the Skyrim logo is the dragon emblem, presented almost in a diamond shape, with numerous sharp points and a curvaceous central body. The symbol demonstrates the shape of the dragons within the game itself, featuring a long neck and large wings. 

On the official logo for the game box, the bottom point of the left wing has been removed, perhaps in an effort to make the symbol look more rustic and worn over time.

Skyrim Logo

What does the Skyrim logo mean?

The sleek Skyrim dragon logo was inspired by the lore of the Elder Scrolls series. Though the design is best known as the logo for Skyrim, the crest has appeared in a few other Elder Scrolls titles over the years as the main emblem used by the “Imperial Faction.” 

The symbol has its own distinct name: the “Seal of Akatosh,” and is steeped in history within the Elder Scrolls world. The seal apparently represents the undying strength of the empire and its ability to withstand the passage of time. 

The design, according to the game’s history, is modeled after the “Father of the Dragon Gods,” Akatosh. 

The lore in Elder Scrolls refers to Akatosh as the first god to have formed at the beginning of time. He’s the highest being in the “pantheon of divines” within the game and is worshipped throughout the world Skyrim is set in: Tamriel. 

Akatosh even appears in a number of different religious factions throughout the game. Only a handful of civilizations don’t recognize the dragon as a god. 

Throughout the Elder Scrolls landscape, the Seal of Akatosh can be found in numerous locations, primarily in places of worship. In Skyrim, players can find this seal within the city of Solitude, as well as in various other locations dotted around the world. 

The Skyrim logo: Fonts and colors

The Skyrim logo might seem simplistic at first, but it’s a symbol steeped in history and lore, taken directly from the Elder Scrolls game series. 

The design on its own is powerful enough, thanks to a compelling choice of typography for the wordmark and the sharp, geometric edges of the dragon design. 

At a glance, even without knowing the Elder Scrolls history, a player can easily see this game is going to be one of discovery, adventure, and fantasy. 

However, for fans of the Elder Scrolls collection, the Skyrim dragon logo holds additional meaning. It helps to tie the various stories told throughout the series together and strengthen the impact of the incredible story Skyrim shares. 

If you want to take a closer look at the Skyrim logo, you can find some useful resources here:

Officially, the Skyrim logo colors used for the fifth Elder Scrolls title have been relatively simple. 

The dragon symbol and the accompanying wordmark are usually depicted in silver. Each element usually has a gradient effect designed to make the components of the logo look as though they’ve been worn over time.

However, designers have experimented with the Skyrim logo color over the years. 

Various variations of the Skyrim logo have also been created, which depict the symbol in black on a white background, or vice versa. 

What font does the Skyrim logo use?

While the Skyrim dragon symbol usually attracts the most attention from video game and graphic design fans, the font choice for the emblem is relatively interesting too. The font was created by Bethesda and is based on the main text used within the earlier Elder Scrolls games. 

Two typographies are in use within the Skyrim logo, depending on the emblem you see. The font for the section reading “The Elder Scrolls V” is a decorative script font, while the official “Skyrim” logo font is a bold, serif-style typeface

Visually, the Skyrim font resembles various other typefaces, such as Trajan, Typo3, Sovngard, and Medieva, among others. 

Today, the Skyrim logo is one of the most recognizable symbols in video game history, and for good reason. This iconic emblem isn’t just visually impactful; it’s meaningful too. 

Inspired by the lore of the Elder Scrolls world, this logo helps to tie together the amazing stories told throughout a series of video games spanning several years of production. 

The Seal of Akatosh was a fantastic symbol choice for the Skyrim title and has earned the attention of game lovers worldwide today. Even if you’re not familiar with the Elder Scrolls logo history or the game’s origins, this design will grab your attention. 

Fabrik: A branding agency for our times.

Stephen Peate
Creative director
Stephen Peate
Creative director
As Fabrik’s creative director, Stephen oversees complex branding programmes. He advises our clients on their tone of voice, creates logos and visual identities and crafts names for companies, products and services. Writing for Brand Fabrik Stephen reflects his love for logo design and visual identity.

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