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Designing Heraldry. a few basic rules

Designing Heraldry: A Few Basic Rules

Lady Elaine Wentworth

So long as you keep a few basic rules in mind, your heraldry can be pretty much as complex or simple as you like. Designing heraldry involves the arrangement of colours, field divisions and charges. These things combined give you your unique arms.

The first thing to begin with is colour and how it can be used. There are 5 basic colours:

  • Red (Gules)
  • Blue (Azure)
  • Green (Vert)
  • Purple (Purpure)
  • Black (Sable)

Then there are two metals:

  • Silver: or white (Argent)
  • Gold: or yellow (Or)

Then there are the furs, so called because they supposedly represent the fur of certain animals. These are:

  • Ermine generally white with black spots, although there are variations (for example, counter ermine, which is black with white spots)
  • Vair supposed to represent the skins of squirrels sewn together and generally represented by azure (blue) and argent (white) pieces arranged alternately.

So those are the colours and furs you can use. The trick is how you use them.

On the shield, you have essentially two sections the field/background, and the charge, which is the pretty picture stuck on the field.

Here's the important bit: When thinking about what colours you want your field and charge to be, just remember that you CANNOT put same on same such as a colour on a colour, or a metal on a metal, or a fur on a fur. The reason for this is to ensure contrast. A device should be able to be recognised clearly from a distance.

So therefore green dragon on gold field = good. Green dragon on red field = bad. Gold dragon on Ermine field = good. Gold dragon on silver field = bad.

That's it. It's that simple.

!Remember, everybody wins with Heraldry so get REGISTERED.