I’ve spent too many hours in Shutterstock, mining for gold amongst … let’s just call them organic substances far less valuable than gold. But while most of us lament the lack of creativity in stock photography—captivating moments like someone typing at a keyboard or three people in suits standing in a studio for no apparent reason—Shutterstock enlisted Elliott Scott from studio Mondayne to do something about it.
He created a series of images called Game of Brands, or what are essentially Photoshopped corporate stock photos given a Game of Thrones twist. And I must say, if George R.R. Martin had placed his fantasy epic in the modern day rather than the mythical land of Westeros, the HBO show might look a lot like this: The Starks (if you’re not a GoT geek, they’re the ones known for what must be the very annoying "Winter Is Coming" meme) have been imagined as subzero special-ops masters, while the Lannisters ("A Lannister Always Pays His Debts") comes across like some ruthless investment banking firm. Meanwhile, the Arryns—known for both their duel loftiness (and maybe an appeal to the common man?)—are a cellphone carrier eerily reminiscent of Boost Mobile.
But the Air "Targaryen"—best known for having dragon blood running through their veins—may be the best rebranding of them all. The red, black, and steel coloring, mixed with a sharp flag logo, is like a glimpse of Virgin Atlantic if Richard Branson were a sinister overlord rather than a chairman of the mile-high-club board.
In other words, don’t fret when you’re forced to work off stock photos for a frugal client; just lift the motifs of an international bestseller to spruce them up. Then shout "fair use!" while hopping on the next Air Targaryen flight to the nearest, warmest island without geolocation or Internet. Because, you know, winter is coming, eventually.
[Hat tip: Co.Create]