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Schools of Magic

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These are sigils representing the eight schools of magic found in Dungeons and Dragons. From left to right and top to bottom they are Abjuration, Conjuration, Divination, Enchantment, Evocation, Illusion, Necromancy, and Transmutation.

I was inspired by Icrangirl's Arcane Arts, but wanted to take that idea and improve upon it, using more explicitly D&D-based colours, imagery, and symbolism. The colours and symbols used are those found on D&D Beyond. Also, thankyou to Pjotr Frank for his Classic Symbol Typeface for the images of the official symbols of each school used in the center of the sigils. The other fonts used were Tolkien Dwarf Runes and Tengwar Annatar. The Elven written on each sigil is just gibberish, and doesn't spell out anything.

It was important to me that each sigil was visually distinct, and that I used meaningful symbolism wherever possible. Below is an explanation of how I designed each one.

Abjuration—I really liked the hexagonal shape for Abjuration: it visually reminds me of a shield. I made the central area rather clean, compared to the outer edges which are relatively complex and full of geometry. This is symbolic of a shield blocking out the chaos of the elements. The triangular motif represents the three facets of abjuration: shielding, guards and wards, and banishment.

Conjuration—this is the classic pentagram shape commonly associated with conjuration even outside of D&D. It's really that simple. The central circle is representative of a teleportation circle, as teleportation is the other key feature of conjuration.

Divination—I use the main motif of an eye here, to represent the eye being opened to the world. The starburst shape is evocative of rays of light, both in the sense that light is literally how we see the world, but also that it illuminates that which is hidden in darkness. The inner starburst has the added benefit of appearing like eyelashes, further illustrating the eye being open. This is one of my favourite designs for its strong symbolism.

Enchantment—the main structure here is supposed to look like a web: both the web of lies that enchants a person and the literal entrapment of a person in an enchantment spell. The circles here represent holes in one's memory and lapses in judgement.

Evocation—this is also one of the better sigils I designed. The four runes represent the four classical elements. I even chose sigils that vaguely resemble the elements themselves. Fire in the north, air in the east, water in the south, and earth in the west. The triangles within the circles are literally the ancient alchemical symbols for the respective elements, as associated with the Greek philosopher Empedocles (🜁, 🜂, 🜃, 🜄). On top of that, the spokes radiating out from the center represent one firing blasts of magic from themselves, and the explosions they create on impact.

Illusion—this one is the most ambitious, I think. This sigil introduces geometry that basically makes no sense, compared to the others which are all very predictable and mathematical. The reason for the random lines in odd directions is the sense that something isn't right with the picture. Illusion is, after all, the school of magic that deceives the eyes and tricks the brain. Of course, the same eye motif found in Divination is also used here. The two schools are fundamentally at odds with one another, so I don't mind the repeated imagery. I also like the strong vertical symmetry the runes provide: it reminds me of classic Illusion spells like Mirror Image. If I was even more ambitious, I might have had a couple lines in the 'reflection' missing, to further illustrate how things are not as they appear.

Necromancy—the line running through the center of the sigil represents the line between life and death. The very line that necromancy balances upon, manipulates, and even blurs, at times. The upper half represents life and the lower half: death. The grid-like pattern running around the outside represents the outer planes in D&D: heaven, hell, and the like. These are the places where the souls of the mortal go to upon death, and the places where necromancy deals and trades.

Transmutation—the circles visually remind me of an alchemist's workspace: an arrangement of alchemical materials: the first real-world attempts at transmutation. The two larger circles on the left and right represent the changing of matter from one state to another.
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© 2019 - 2021 DrYoshiyahu
Comments8
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Hey! I absolutely love your designs. They're truly phenomenal. I was wondering if I purchased these, how can they be used?

DrYoshiyahu's avatar

Anything that isn't for a commercial product. 🙂

Hello @DrYoshiyahu, I'm using your sigils on spell cards for D&D 3.5 that I'm actually working on. I purchased them, thank you for the great quality of each sigil :)

DnD spell cards, front sides without texts
Super-Mario-64's avatar

These are sick. Saw on Reddit. Question. Do you have these anywhere as individual circles? I would love to utilize the conjuration circle for something.

DrYoshiyahu's avatar

Yep! The purchase option for this piece includes individual images for each sigil with a transparent background. 🙂

Solar-Paragon's avatar
Oh hey, I saw these on Reddit; Awesome job on these!

If I may ask, what program did you use to pull off circular symmetry like that? They came out incredibly well executed, and I quite love all the thought and reasoning you've put into each of them.
DrYoshiyahu's avatar

I used Adobe Flash of all things. I've always loved the way it snaps lines and shapes together and automatically causes intersections to become connected.

Solar-Paragon's avatar
Oh wow! I never would have suspected Flash. In that case, you've done a marvelous job with these! Flash is quite tricky to use so I admire someone who can create something so precise and symmetrical with it.

Keep up the amazing work!
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