The Orkney News

the orkney news dragon logo martin scott laird
The Orkney News, two-headed dragon logo


I was asked to design a logo for The Orkney News website, which was set up as a non-profit, community-based news outlet. The Orkney News gives voice to people that might not otherwise have a platform in the existing local media. It features investigative journalism, recipes, poetry, and regular contributions from members of various political parties, amongst other things. The Orkney News launched on the 1st of February 2017, and can be found at

The logo is inspired by the Maeshowe dragon, which is a piece of Viking graffiti in a prehistoric chambered cairn on the Orkney mainland. It may or may not actually represent a dragon, as it is rather wolf-like despite having scales. The sword-like squiggle emerging from its back is equally indefinite, so I took some liberties and made it into a loose “N” shape. The dragon has been given two heads for reasons of symmetry, and to make it into an “O” shape. Whether or not any particular symbolism is associated with a two-headed dragon in Norse culture is unknown to me, but it can be found in such artifacts as the whalebone plaque found at Scar farm on Sanday. This plaque forms part of the collection at the Orkney Museum in Kirkwall.

The font was chosen to be modern, somewhat quirky, and easy to read on a computer screen. The logo was drawn by hand in India ink, then scanned and converted to a vector graphic using Inkscape.

the orkney news header martin scott laird
The Orkney News header


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