Today we want to share an interesting meet the team piece with a focus on Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay from Rachael Macken. Rachael joined the Cubicle 7 team in 2019 as a Graphic Designer focusing on Warhammer initially. With years of experience in branding, design and print combined with a love of games, Rachael has made a great addition to our team. Her creativity and detailed research is obvious in the striking covers shown below for the Collector’s editions of The Enemy Within Volume 1. Rachael also worked on the layout for the upcoming Warhammer 40,000 Roleplay: Wrath & Glory that we shared recently.
I have always loved art, even as I was a child, I loved to draw and paint. As a teen, I found myself drawn to darker fantasy art, such as skulls, dragons and demons. In my spare time I doodled tattoo-style art and monochrome designs. I love to learn new things, especially if they have an artistic element. I studied Web Development and Graphic Design in college. In my first year I got an intro in Gaming and loved it. Since then, I’ve always wanted to get into the industry. Needless to say, I jumped at the opportunity with C7, and took an instant liking to the WFRP style. Skulls, spikes and fantasy, what’s not to love!
Enemy in Shadows Book Cover design
I was really excited to finish the design for this book, to work on a skull moon is not something I’ve done before — so bring it on! The artwork was beautiful, however, it was too detailed for foil-print finishing. The main brief was to simplify the design, using the concept of tarot cards, and create on a different colour palette that would complement both book covers (Enemy in Shadows and Enemy in Shadows Companion). Having ‘fresh eyes’ on these designs was a great advantage, in my mind, as I was able to look at it from a realistic point-of-view, while maintaining the fantasy element. My main aim was to limit the amount of colours, focus the eye on the artwork and away from the border. The cool tones of the purple perfectly complement the warmer hues in the sickly-green and golden-yellow.
Part 1: Enemy in Shadow: Morrslieb
As a WFRP novice, I didn’t know much about the Chaos Moon and what ‘it’ represented. I went through old and new books, and bombarded the team with questions, as well as fan-pages for references on Morrslieb. I discovered that Morrslieb is one of two moons. It’s made of warpstone hence the sickly-green colour. It’s the dark twin of Mannslieb with an erratic cycle. Sometimes a skull crater like face appears on the moon — a portent to misfortune.
While reading these dark and fascinating facts, my mind was exploding with crazy designs (some a bit too crazy as usual), but one that would be amazing for this book cover. I liked elements of the Chaos moon from version 1, so I created this evil skull face, with a sickly warm-green colour with lights and darks shades, to create depth without too much detail. For the valley, I used various natural landscapes, such as the Canadian Rockies, etc. I wanted to show the sharp coldness in the mountains (in a cooler purple) with an almost natural-looking ‘glow’ from the Chaos Moon for where these rituals happen.
Part 2: Enemy in Shadow: Ace of Hammers
Ace of Hammers, the Enemy in Shadows Companion cover, was particularly interesting for me to work on. This weapon was originally a dwarfen hammer that was gifted to Sigmar in a battle against Orcs. To understand how to best illustrate this ‘dwarfen hammer’, I needed to continue my in-depth research. (Again annoying the team with hundreds of questions.) This involved many questions on the hammer’s provenance; a quick course on Sigmar, and the history behind the barbarian king.
Armed with new information and my new-found knowledge that Sigmar is basically the ‘Good Guy’, and my understanding that this special hammer was to signify the triumph over ‘bad’ or ‘evil’. So, I decided to make the hammer the star of the show. I chose a golden-yellow colour (makes sense, right?) and the cool purple from EiS to ‘tie’ the covers together.
For the valley, what I had in mind was the ‘Blackfire Pass’. After the victory, there was almost an alliance between Sigmar and Dwarfs, so, was it peaceful? I thought the lake surrounded by trees and rocks would give a settled feeling to the image. But I thought, if there is blackness in the sky, how would you see the lake? Hence the moon’s position over the lake. Using this concept, along with the team’s help, I thought alright, let’s WFRP this moon… More skulls? Yes, please!
Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd. © Games Workshop 2020