Recently we saw an online post from an advertising manager at a well-known game publisher reminding people that any use of the well-known (Kevin Ross designed) depiction of the Robert Chambers “Yellow Sign” is subject to Intellectual Property constraints. They own the rights to said symbol.
We cannot argue that what those marketing people are saying is true … except that is only PART of the story. It neglects to mention that more recently, a far more benevolent publisher (the ever-amazing Pelgrane Press) commissioned a re-designed version of the Yellow Sign for their super-classy “Yellow King” TTRPG … and true to their community-minded nature, THEY decided to release their version of the foul sigil into the Public Domain.
So … yes … if you’re looking to publish something based on Robert Chamber’s vision you COULD pay a game company for the right to use a well-known version of The Yellow Sign … but honestly why would you when there is a perfectly good alternate version that you can get for free?
And the Yellow Sign WANTS to be free!