Bloomsbury has just unveiled some brand new designs for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, and they’re all about flaunting your house pride.
Designed by award-winning illustrator Levi Pinfold, the covers will have two unique designs for both hardback and paperback, portraying the Hogwarts houses like never before.
Whether you're Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw or Hufflepuff, you will soon be able to own a copy of the book themed around your favourite, with a specially designed crest uniquely representing each one. As Pinfold explains, each cover tells a different story, with the artist using traditional heraldry from historic coat of arms imagery to delve deep into each house.
A coat of arms is a special piece of art that has been used throughout history to represent small towns, families, countries and more, representing their story through images. Using this tradition, Levi has helped tell an interesting tale about each house’s legacy, with each crest adorned with individual nuances.
In the Hufflepuff crest, for example, there are beech leaves to symbolize tolerance and a little lamb to show gentleness. In heraldry, gold or yellow is seen to represent generosity, which of course is perfect for the Hufflepuffs among us.
The crescent in the Slytherin crest represents glory and honour, and has been used in several coats of arms throughout history, including the Fitzsimmons family, and Trinity Hall College, Cambridge. Slytherin green is for endurance and the dragon-like cockatrice suggests Slytherins are fierce warriors, which we’ve certainly seen to be true.
Gryffindor red is meant to signify military strength, a unicorn is for purity and courage, and the antlers are for strength and agility. We’re sure Harry would like the latter, if his Patronus is anything to go by.
The Ravenclaw crest gets a parchment scroll to symbolise academic achievement, an owl for wisdom, a spearhead for sharpness of wit and a book for knowledge. Owls have cropped up a lot in European heraldry, such as in the Armorial Bearings of the late, great Terry Pratchett.
It was a delicate task for Pinfold, designing these exquisite crests – but also a deep honour.
When he first found out he’d landed this job illustrating, he said: ‘Life was a surreal wonderland for an hour or two, then I realised I had to actually do the work! Harry Potter means a lot to so many people, so it comes with a responsibility.’ His family, endearingly, were staggered. ‘I could tell my family were thinking, ‘What, you? The kid that wouldn’t wipe his nose and was scared of mud?’ My fiancée said: "Awesome." Which it was!’
The very first thing Pinfold drew, he says, was ‘a majestic badger’. That’s because he started with his favourite house, Hufflepuff. ‘It’s got all the best animals in it,’ he says, despite technically being a Ravenclaw, according to the Pottermore sorting experience.
‘I think Hufflepuff is where it’s at.’
We wonder whether Pinfold will get a blue or yellow copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Perhaps both.
These beautiful new editions of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone will be available in hardback and paperback, and will be in stores from the beginning of June.