The name and concept for the band were decided together along with the idea of having an actual “Mark”. This would be a symbol to accompany the band name and appear on the logo and any artworks. Now we needed to find a picture or symbol to use as the mark. It needed to be something strong and simple, as it would have to stand out over a lot of different artworks and backgrounds.
We started by contacting a friend who had particular interest in the occult. They were able to suggest a few symbols linked to fortune or ill omen, but we didn’t find anything that simultaneously conveyed the meaning of decay while having an aesthetic quality that would look good in artwork.
We then looked at combining different elements of conventional symbols, from warning signs and common science uses. The most promising of these was a sketch of skulls in a bio-hazard symbol. This was quickly shelved when a search on Google revealed the hundreds of bands that had done this before.
Pictograms and pictographic languages were looked at next. The idea behind pictograms is to communicate words using explanatory pictures. While initially promising, we gave up on these when it became clear that there were no such languages in common use. We realised we would be left with a series of small pictures that either required constant explanation to everyone, or a looked like a poor wingdings font.
Ideograms were the next stop. These are similar to pictograms, except they try to capture whole concepts as shapes rather than just individual words. The symbols we found were very good, being both simple and strong. The only problem was that there are few comprehensive languages and we couldn’t find a symbol for decay. We decided to have a go at creating our own using the concepts behind some of the languages, trying to capture the elements of what we were trying to communicate through our own unique shape. Many ideographic languages use a circle to represent life, with various crossings to additions to represent events such as death. A language called bliss had a symbol to suggest a change in life. We added an arrow to suggest the downward or decaying nature of the change. Several sketches later we settled on a symbol that had the arrow split in two and framing the change symbol. We had our Mark of Decay.