When creating one’s own coat of arms, the first step is the design. Each element of a coat of arms – the colors, shapes, and symbols used – is rife with meaning.
The language of heraldry is rich in allusion and metaphor, drawing on the perceived qualities of animals, mythical creatures, trees and flowers, and even everyday objects to tell a visual story about the bearer. Red, for example, is the traditional color of military prowess, whereas orange often denotes ambition.
An image of an oak leaf could denote age and fortitude, but acacia leaves typically represent some form of remembrance.
A financial organization might choose to include a chain to indicate a long history of service; a hawk to connote the determined pursuit of a particular goal; and a dragon, to suggest it is valiant in the defense of treasure.
From the point at which the essential visual components are decided, it will usually take a commissioned artist two to three weeks to complete the artwork, which can then be translated for use in digital or print media.
In print, a coat of arms might appear on letterheads, envelopes, business cards, books, or important invitations. Given the weight of significance imbued in the emblem, care should be taken to maximize its impact on the paper. Specific printing techniques can help with this. Engraving / Die stamping (whereby the coat of arms is impressed onto the paper, then layered with individual colors using separate engraved printing plates) can result in a crisp, high-impact look and feel which captures the finest details of the coat of arms. Alternatively, the high-precision, ink-free technique of blind embossing can create a 3D interplay of texture and shadow on the surface of the card or paper, resulting in subtle, tactile elegance.
Ultimately, whether the coat of arms is a new creation or one that has been handed down for generations, the most important thing is to take care of it. After all, it is not simply a logo for the moment, but a piece of history to be cherished – a legacy for the future