THE SECRETS OF THE HOUSE EMBLEMS
Set designer Christine Jones reveals the meaning inside the logos
When you belong to a Hogwarts House, you belong to something bigger than yourself. Set designer Christine Jones kept that in mind when she created all-new house emblems for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. “Being a part of a house is like being a part of a family,” she says, “but in the case of a house assignment, you are joined with people who have more than blood in common.”
Everywhere the house emblems appear, they emphasize the crucial spirit of community in the Cursed Child story – the way that biological and chosen family members unite to help each other.
The logos also remind us that we’re part of the Cursed Child community, too. That’s why Jones and her collaborator, international scenic supervisor Brett J. Banakis, have placed them throughout the Lyric Theatre, and not just on the stage. “Fans can scan the walls, the floors, the balcony fronts, and the light-fixtures to find house-inspired details,” Jones says, noting that even the carpet in the theatre lobby uses the logos in a subtle design. “We did that because we wanted the audience to feel instantly but gently enveloped by the world of Hogwarts.”
Fans may also notice that the house emblems in Cursed Child are unique to the stage production. Using the colors associated with each house, each one fuses the house animal with the first letter of the house name. From the august lion emerging from the Gryffindor “G” to the sharp-eyed badger peering from the Hufflepuff “H,” all four have a lively energy.
“You want to imagine the impact that shape and color will have from a distance,” Jones says. “When you’re designing for the stage, you have to remember that the audience doesn’t always see things close up, like they do in a movie. Allowing the animals to be fused with the letters felt like a way of giving these logos their own identity.”
Jones herself is a Hufflepuff. She personally enjoyed taking the Sorting Hat quiz to learn which house she belonged to: “We are all communal creatures deep down,” she says. “And who doesn’t love a quiz?”