Signs and Symbols as a Form of Exclusive Cultural Fostering

Recently, as I was perusing he internet, I came across some Game of Thrones-esque house sigils/banners that were made as if they were by different internet sites.  Intrigued, I found some of them particularly funny – not because they were really funnier than the others, but simply because I related to them the most.

I won’t post all of them here, but you can go to this link and see the rest!

The main image I want to make note of is the first that appears, twitter.


In order to understand this joke, there are many layers the viewer needs to be aware of.  One, what twitter generally is, and what its function is in relation to the rest of the internet.  Second, they need to know that the symbol of twitter is the small bird, made more “game of thrones-y” by becoming an eagle.  Third, the viewer might also want to know the colours of Twitter, blue and white.  And fourth, “dark wings, dumb words” have a double meaning.  One the one hand, they reference the small character limit that often produces less than academic material on the site, but it also references the ravens in GoT, who deliver messages in the fictional kingdom.  This is important, because it loops back to twitter because that’s what twitter is – sending messages all over the place on the internet, and hoping something sticks.  Also, the R and T on the cups represent the word “retweet”, a specific word from twitter.  there may be more symbols, indexes and signs that I haven’t talked about that even I haven’t noticed!

This and the rest of the sigils are examples of visual design that is not intended for everyone, or even to promote to non-members.  These viral images are made for the community it was made from, in order to celebrate the two elements in a funny way.  By doing this, it’s like a group strength exercise by forging new connections and discussions within the group, while excluding those that don’t understand.