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  • Gareth Smy

The Legend of Brickbeard: The world's worst pirate

Updated: Jun 1, 2020

I had the amazingly fun task of developing a logo for a brand-new themed hotel for LEGOLAND Deutschland Resort in 2016: Pirate Island Hotel. Part of that task was directing the art team, but what I want to share is a little backstory on the design logic behind the branding.



I'm a firm believer in detailed world building and one of the best ways I have found is to create design documents that can pick up the reader and drop them into the right mindset for this world. This can be mood boards, sketches, etc. but in this case, I did something different. A song! but before we get to that, a little context:


Pirate Island Hotel

Fort Royal was the strongest and most secure location in all the seven seas. Now, Fort Royal is the biggest and best pirate hideout instead! A place for all budding buccaneers to call home. A Pirate Island. Swashbucklers sail from all over the world to bury their treasure, repair their ships and replenish their crew.


But it wasn't always plain sailing. Do you know the story of the world's first (and worst) pirate?


Brickbeard: The first (and worst) pirate


The world’s worst pirate was obsessed with treasure,

greater than you, or even I, could ever measure.

He dreamt of wealth and untold riches;

a golden pistol and parrot and even gold britches!

He sailed the seven seas with his buccaneer crew,

in search of shiny things, old and/or new.


Distracted, was he, by what shimmered and shined

he never did see the Navy sneaking behind.

His every attempt to pillage and plunder,

was thwarted, in part, by this little blunder.

Captured and thrown into an island prison,

he plotted and schemed when no one would listen.

His plan, you see, was to escape his cell,

take back all his treasure and live to tell.


At night, he escaped under the cover of darkness,

quiet as a mouse and equally as harmless.

Sneaking his way into the treasury room,

he dribbled and drooled at the thought of doubloons.

Picking the lock and opening the door,

he was bathed in light, golden and pure.

But nothing prepared him for what he would find,

For the room was much bigger than he'd had in mind.

There wasn’t just treasure that he had collected

but more -so much more- and all unprotected.


He couldn't believe it, barely taking it all in,

and then it hit him…square in the chin.

He felt a little dizzy, his face numb and sore,

So, he did what he thought best and promptly fainted on the floor.

You see, distracted yet again by that glittering gold,

he failed to notice certain events unfold.


You see, space was limited in the fortified prison,

so, the treasure room also stored weapons and ammunition;

Muskets, pistols, swords and spears -

for soldiers to defend their island frontier -

but a small lapse of planning, from one and from all…

was to perch cannonballs on shelves, high upon the wall.


So, with careless abandon, as he forced open the bulkhead

the shelves rattled, jolted and launched their lead.

Tossed into air, the cannonballs did fly,

Knocking out teeth and bruising one eye.

and awaking later his mouth was strangely cold,

his teeth had been replaced with silver and gold!


He returned to his ship and shocked all his crew

With a shimmering smile, all shiny and new.

They gathered around, not believing their eyes.

With gasps of amazement, wonder and surprise.

To honour his escape, they designed a new flag

Of a skull and crossed bones…and a mouth full of swag.

The merriment continued as they sailed with the tide

Inspiring young pirates, far and wide.


But no one knows what became of the crew,

their ship and it's captain or if any of this' true!

It's said that his spirit lives in symbolic impression;

Flying freely from our masts with metallic expression.

And every now and then, when he’s in a playful mood

you might see him winking, being silly or rude!


#design #story #themepark #writing #LEGO #concept #brand

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