Family Identification: Coat of Arms
A coat of arms is a unique heraldic design on a shield, surcoat (loose outer coat or gown) or tabard (tunic or cape garment).It's purpose was to Identify Families and Linage for example Medieval knights used coats of arms to identify the wearer especially in battle or at tournaments. A knight's battle gear was so prestigious and spoke to all of his achievements, so the coat of arms evolved into a status symbol that visually described the wearer's family history, property and profession or occupation.
The oldest documented example of a coat of arms borne on a shield is where King Henry I of England is said to have bestowed on his son-in-law, Geoffrey Plantagenet, Count of Anjou, in 1127 A.D.: the azure shield bore four gold lions rampant. [Source: The Oxford Guide to Heraldry by Thomas Woodcock and John Martin Robinson.]
The designs can be quite colorful and can contain all sorts of animals and objects. Each part was carefully decided as everything had meaning. A Coat of Arms are a great example of visual symbolism. Symbolism is the action of using symbols. A symbol is something physical that is represents something else like, an idea or concept. A Lion can represent courage for example. Just about anything can be a symbol. However, some symbols are commonly understood.
Create your own Coat of arms
step one: design a hybrid animal that combines two symbols
Step Three: design your Shield
- choose one of the shield files bellow and open it in illustrator
- copy and paste the creature vector into the shield file
- decorate the shield using "live Trace"
- color and add words/ a name