Prince Crogen of Chirkland

After going through a few ideas in my head and in my sketch pad (after a slow start) I thought about an A1 poster for Chirk Castle but decided against this. I researched the history, and went back back to the period when the castle was built, but whilst doing this I came across an article stating that the present castle is built on the foundations of an older castle – ‘Castell Crogen’ which was supposedly built approx 2 centuries earlier. The explanation of the ‘Red Hand’ legend seemed to be more plausible than the more well known story of the two brothers racing for the inheritance of their dying father, and the first to touch their dying father’s bed would inherit everything. So the losing brother hacked off his hand and threw it at his father’s bed……..Nah, sorry but in the midst of a race it would take much too long to hack off your own hand.

The story I came across, which sounds much more realistic is that Prince Crogen whilst on the battle field, losing his standard picked up a flag and with a bloodied hand which lay on the ground close by marked out the ogham for ‘C’ which is four vertical lines. Sorry, but which story sounds more believable?

Anyway, I read up the story of Prince Crogen and became increasingly more interested in this era of the castle’s history – The Dark Ages and The Battle of Crogen. This was much more interesting and much more my type of thing.

I found out that the original castle was built in 1013 ad, almost 1000 years and maybe this anniversary might be worth celebrating to certain folk, and went along the lines of designing a commemorative shield. Then it was pointed out to me that I should be working in the style that I want to work when I finish my degree course, so…I went home, sat back and thought about what I do actually want to do when I finish, because in the beginning I was hoping to just fall into something that interested me, but waiting for the lightening to strike was taking too long. I sat and thought about my future and what I wanted to do with the rest of my life, realising that this was quite an important decision.

It came to me, Films, DVD’s, Music, Events, they all need artwork and design work and this is the way I wanted to go, and my work suited this, so I gave it a go. ‘C rogen’- a movie about the battle at Chirk, Oswestry, Corwen and some other villages in that area. This film needed a DVD cover and promotional poster, this will be my first.

I rooted around for the right image for this fictional movie but could not find the right one, so I got my camera out and a sword I had lying around the house, well in the garage, and I rummaged around for a motorbike chain that I knew I had somewhere. Dressed somewhat minimal and took about 100 photos in different poses. I made sure no one could see me as I wandered what the neighbours might think.

I took over 100 photos and picked the 2 that I thought I could work with (I tell you holding your stomach in for all those photos wasn’t easy)

I looked at other DVD cover to see what they contained, I looked at composition and text and took all this into photoshop and came up with these three trial runs.




I came up with these three covers, which, in my opinion still need some work and am torn between which version to carry on working with. They all have different appeal and feel that some other person’s input might be needed, so if anyone feels that they can spare the time to tell my which version they prefer, and why, then your opinion would be most appreciated.

See more at thanks, Martin