You’ve heard of Harry Potter. Yes, that Harry Potter. The one who went to Hogwarts, the one who has an amusement park dedicated to them, and the one who is the focus of a billion-dollar enterprise.
While you may be the biggest Potterhead out there, you may not have looked at the logo of this brand very closely. If you fall into this category, don’t fret. Below, you’ll find everything you need to know about this iconic logo and Harry Potter’s entire tale of success.
Hogwarts is the fictional school in the extremely popular Harry Potter series. Those that can attend Hogwarts are those children that are born with the pureblood of magic. Written by JK Rowling, a British author, screenwriter, producer, and philanthropist, her revolutionary Harry Potter series has sold over 500 million copies worldwide, has been the basis for the Harry Potter film franchise, and has awarded her countless accolades. But who exactly is JK Rowling beyond her resume?
Joanne (JK) Rowling was born on July 31, 1965, in England. As a young girl, she attended Saint Michael’s Primary School before attending Wyedean School and College. JK always loved languages and when she later attended the University of Exeter, she decided to double major in French and Classics.
What drove JK to write the Harry Potter series was her profound love of literature. At a young age, she knew she wanted to be a writer and so she wrote her first book at the age of six which was called Rabbit. At the age of 11, she wrote her second book about seven cursed diamonds.
You would think that JK began writing bestselling novels as soon as she graduated college, but that wasn’t the case. After graduation, she worked at Amnesty International as a researcher and bilingual secretary. It wasn’t until 1990 when she first dreamed up the story of Harry Potter, which came to her while waiting for a delayed train from Manchester to London. That four-hour delay changed her life.
Her entire Harry Potter series revolves around the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, which is why the Hogwarts logo has become the Harry Potter brand’s logo. Hogwarts is set in the Scottish Highlands and is open to students with pureblood magical powers that come of British and Irish descent. The only way to arrive at the school is by taking the Hogwarts Express.
The school was founded in 990 A.D. by four witches and wizards: Godric Gryffindor and Salazar Slytherin who were wizards, and Rowena Ravenclaw and Helga Hufflepuff who were witches. To represent the four founders, Hogwarts divided up the school into four houses that were each named for the last name of each of these founders. Each house chose an animal to represent them, and these animals welcome any and all visitors that enter the house.
The mission of Hogwarts is to transfer the faculty’s knowledge of magic to young students so that the gift of magic would never die. You may be thinking, “How does Hogwarts know what child has magical powers?” Well, at birth, a bird detects which children have these magical powers, and then the bird enters their names into a book that Hogwarts keeps. To learn of enrollment, children receive a letter sent by an owl on their eleventh birthday.
This letter also includes a list of the school supplies they need to start the year. This list may include things like spell books, wands, and uniforms that they will need to purchase before their first day. Students can also choose to bring an owl, frog, or cat with them if they would like. The one thing first-year students aren’t allowed to bring though is a broomstick (a rule that Harry Potter broke). Once admitted, students can stay at Hogwarts to study until they are eighteen.
Hogwarts and Harry Potter’s Evolution
While the inspiration for the Harry Potter series was developed during a train delay, the name Hogwarts was inspired by the hogwort plant. JK saw this plant at the Kew Gardens in the United Kingdom and knew that this would be the name of her fictional school in the Harry Potter series.
Below is how the Harry Potter series and Hogwarts came to be:
1990-1995: The start of the Harry Potter series
JK ran with her idea about a boy attending a wizardry school after her four-hour train was delayed. As soon as she made it back to London, JK immediately started writing. The result was a manuscript, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, which she finished in 1995.
1997: The first Harry Potter book is published
The first publishers that read her manuscript didn’t accept it for publishing. Bloomsbury ultimately decided to publish JK’s manuscript after Alice Newton, the daughter of Bloomsbury’s Chair, took an interest in the book. After every chapter that Alice finished reading, she asked for the next. It took until 1997 for the first book to formally be published. Bloomsbury released the first 1000 copies that year, which included 500 copies strictly for libraries.
1998-2002: Harry Potter enters the film industry
Shortly after JK’s first Harry Potter book was published (just five months later), this book was awarded the Smarties Book Prize. By winning this award, the series was able to build upon the momentum from that publicity. This momentum translated into a film adaptation and in 1998, Warner Brothers acquired the rights to turn the first two books into a movie. These films were released in 2001 and 2002.
2004: JK Rowling’s milestones
JK Rowling’s success skyrocketed and in 2004, Forbes named JK as not only the second wealthiest female entertainer in the world but also the first billionaire author in the world.
This was the start of a new era, as now not only were people in love with the books, but everyone as watching the movies as well.
2007: The final Harry Potter book
Fast-forward three years later to 2007, and you’ll find that JK finished her seventh, and final, book in the Harry Potter series on January 11. This book was titled Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and was released on July 21 of that year. This final Harry Potter installment was the fastest-selling book of all time, solidifying Harry Potter as a global brand.
Roadblocks Along the Way
Just like with any series, thinking of new content can be tricky. That’s even more difficult when you have an entire world waiting on every new word that you publish. Having fans so ingrained into your every move with your brand leaves no margin for error. What JK Rowling has done is impressive. She took all of this and never slowed down, continuously bringing Hogwarts to millions of fans worldwide!
The Meaning of the Hogwart’s Logo and Hogwart’s Logo History
The Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry’s logo is a very elaborate logo that resembles a medieval knight shield. The logo features elements that tie into the era the school was founded. On the logo, you’ll find that each school’s crest is featured, and each crest signifies the values of that school’s founder while representing that school’s faculty.
The Hogwarts logo is a symbol of mystical knowledge, and the meaning goes much deeper than what you may be thinking. The logo represents the magical lessons that the founders and faculty teach to the younger students, by showcasing the unique characteristics of each school’s founder in their applicable school crest.
You’ll see a variety of components on the logo including the signature Hogwarts “H” and a yellow ribbon, as well as four different logo designs and elements representing each of the four houses. Each house on the Hogwarts badge features their respective animal and their respective colors.
A look at each of these components of the Hogwarts logo is outlined below.
The Hogwarts “H” very clearly stands for Hogwarts and appears in a red and black font that sits on a yellow square. On the Hogwarts logo, you’ll find the “H” right in the middle of the crest, signifying how it watches over the four houses of Hogwarts. The “H” is written in delicate typography which conveys a sense of ancient charisma. Having the Hogwarts “H” front and center unites the students, alumni, and stakeholders together for the common interest of Hogwarts.
The yellow ribbon is what the Hogwarts crest sits on. On the ribbon, you’ll notice Hogwarts’s slogan written in Latin: Draco Dormiens Nunquam Titillandus, all in capital letters (which translates to “Never tickle a sleeping dragon”). The ribbon is meant to evoke support and awareness in all of Hogwarts’ students. “Draco” was chosen as part of this slogan because in Greek the word means serpent, and in Latin the word means dragon. Both creatures represent mystical knowledge which is a core value of Hogwarts.
Gryffindor House Logo
Some may consider Gryffindor House the most famous house due to Harry Potter being a member of it. Gryffindor’s mascot is a lion, which is featured on their house logo. On Hogwarts’ logo, the yellow lion is placed on the upper left corner of the crest. The lion depicts boldness, nobleness, fearlessness, and brightness. All these traits are symbolic of the house’s founder, Godric Gryffindor.
Gryffindor Logo Color:
There are only two colors visible on Gryffindor’s logo: red and yellow, which are the two colors of the house. Together they embody the element of fire, where the red color stands for passion and energy and the yellow stands for happiness and freshness.
Gryffindor Logo Font:
Gryffindor’s logo only uses one font: a gothic serif that displays the Gryffindor name. The font is bold, yet legible.
Slytherin House Logo
Slytherin House is represented with a silver, fatal serpent. This snake is placed on the top right of Hogwarts’ crest and is used to symbolize cunningness, ambition, and alertness. Members of this house have faculty that pass on those qualities to the students. Because of this, Slytherin house students are also known to embody those traits.
Slytherin Logo Color:
Unlike the red and yellow colors of Gryffindor, the Slytherin logo is green and silver, which together represent the element of water. The green color evokes ambition and harmony, while the silver signifies hope and gracefulness.
Slytherin Logo Font:
While you may think the Slytherin logo needs a bold font with many curves (like a cursive), Slytherin’s name appears in a simple, serif font on their house logo.
Ravenclaw House Logo
The third house is represented by a bronze eagle, which falls on the lower right corner of the crest of Hogwarts. This eagle was chosen as a mascot due to its creativity, courage, intelligence, and vision. All these traits are what the students of Ravenclaw exhibit, and that the house’s founder, Rowena Ravenclaw exhibited as well.
Ravenclaw Logo Color:
The two colors that make up Ravenclaw’s logo are blue and bronze, to represent the element of air. The blue and bronze complement each other where the blue represents loyalty and safety, and the bronze represents strength and security.
Ravenclaw Logo Font:
Ravenclaw’s name on their crest looks more classic than other fonts on other crests. The typography chosen to represent their name is a serif with personality, that is still legible.
Hufflepuff House Logo
The final house, Hufflepuff, includes a mascot of a badger on the lower left-hand side of Hogwarts’ crest. When the four crests are put together, the animals are all on adjacent sides. The choice of a badger for Hufflepuff’s mascot was selected to represent the honest, loyal, and patient students that are a part of this house, as well as the hard work, friendship, tenacity, and gratitude that both the badger and the students embody.
Hufflepuff Logo Color:
Hufflepuff’s house colors are black and yellow, which together, represent the element of earth. The black was chosen to represent mystery and power, whereas the yellow signifies honor and intellect.
Hufflepuff Logo Font:
Unlike the other fonts being serif variations, the Hufflepuff House opts for a font that is similar to the Harry “P” font to write out their house name.
While the series has wrapped, there have been spinoffs and other projects from JK that have graced fans worldwide. And it’s often that you’ll find the Harry Potter series on a television station, which keeps the excitement around this series alive.
JK’s last book in the Harry Potter series sold 11 million copies on its first day of release in the US and the UK, which speaks to the Harry Potter brand’s success. Both the brand, and JK, have won countless awards throughout the years like the British Children’s Book of the Year, the Locus Award, the Hugo Award for Best Novel, and the Blue Peter Badge.
What JK has done is something that is not easy. Even after writing the final pages of a seven-book series, she hasn’t stopped bringing her fictional Hogwarts world to millions of fans worldwide.
Lessons Learned from Hogwarts
The Hogwarts logo is anything but simple, but what it does is showcase everything you need to know about Hogwarts. At first glance, you can see there are four houses, all within the Hogwarts house, and you’ll see all the house’s personalities. It also conveys the school’s mission with the inclusion of its tagline. What the logo shows is that you don’t always need to go simple. There is plenty to look at and by including everything, the Harry Potter brand can convey the complicated nature of how different each house is, and what Hogwarts is. While simple is sometimes better, simple is not always the solution. And that is what the Hogwarts logo proves to us.