Designing a Logo for Mercenaries

During Episode 3 of Death From Above I decided to jump back into the fan art thing.  It was a nice change since I’ve been unable to use my hands for art for almost a month.  The new unit is known as the Dead Man’s Hand, a reference to the poker hand held by Wild Bill Hickock when he was killed in a gunfight.  The Hand consists of 2 pairs of cards.  2 Aces, 2 Eights.  The 5th card is often in dispute and the suits are as well.  The first hearsay account places the hand as the Aces of Diamonds and and Clubs with the Eights of Clubs and Spades.  The more traditional account is that the suits were all Clubs and Spades.  From a design and art point of view that lack of color is boring so I went with the slightly more apocryphal account.  I wanted to keep with the dead man theme but also wanted to play with it a little in the logo.  A skull is an obvious choice for a Merc logo.  I decided that the logo would see the skull lording over its hand with the 5th card unrevealed in its mouth; both an allusion to the unknown card in the legend, but also to the idea that things of value are placed in a dead man’s mouth as a message or token.  Coins for the ferryman to cross the river styx, or as a message to an enemy.  In either case the gambling and unpredictable nature of war made placing the card in the skull’s mouth an ideal choice.  A merc never knows if they can pay their bills, if they will die, or even be able to pay the ferryman.  It’s all a gamble.  The end result came out pretty nice.  I’m including a JPG, PNG and the Adobe PSD for people to use for whatever they like.