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I am designing a University-style coat of arms for a T-shirt. If anyone wants to join in and design their own or talk about coat of arms of Universities feel free to.
All I really need/have settled on are the Mushushu dragons flanking the crest. Let me start by examining some famous University Coat of Arms.
Brock University, in Ontario, Canada. Note the helmet at the top. That seems to be a really popular icon on most of the crests I've seen. The snake surrounding the torch probably represents some sort of New World promotion of freedom and defense of that (Sir Brock died defending Niagara) The Badger and Beaver make this a classic.
I love how they draw the leaves on these things. This one is pretty stunning. It's the coat of arms for Cardiff, and it's got this real Luciferian/Dragon Rouge vibe going on. No idea what it means but it would make a great album cover. And there's that helmet again.
The University of Glasgow. This one is pretty weird. It definately moves away from the helm, animal and leaf generic template. They say:
"The University of Glasgow's crest depicts the legend of St Kentigern or St Mungo, with the addition of the Book of Learning and a representation of the University Mace. The Latin motto on the ribbon - 'Via, Veritas, Vita' - is 'the Way, the Truth, the Life'.
The Mace is the symbol of the University's corporate dignity, it has a silver shaft and a hexagonal head of gold and enamel work. It was made for the University in France in 1465."
The University of New England, very pretty, the latin means "Out Of Wisdom Comes Moderation"
Open University, same standard
Oxford runs far afield with this classy looking thing. I like the crowns and the book. What in the world is the belt for? Beating their students? Or is it some crypto-ouroboros thing?
So I guess the key points here are to pick certain symbols and colors. I have no idea about traditional heraldry, though I can certainly identify the following necessary features:
1. Colors, at least 2
2. Shield - crosses, deltas and their ilk seem popular
3. Flanking animals - they can match or not.
4. Plants - certain flowers or fruits seem to be drawing on old symbological assignments. Acorns represent strength on the U of New England's crowned helm.
5. Motto. This is a neat thing to have. They all seem to have one.
I am going to do my symbology research and return in a bit with some results.
Last edited by Izi; October 2nd, 2012 at 10:54 PM.
Hmm, I have to say that doesn't really look like actual coat of arms, I don't remember seeing a coat of arms that has supporters (though generally the supporter creatures also tend to be mirror images if they're of the same species) but not to have an escutcheon, even in the Oxford university logo I think the book and crowns originally were the design on the escutcheon (yup: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arms_of...sity_of_Oxford) (also I don't think having a helmet is necessarily a choice, but to show rank, same as the crown. Not sure how these translate to modern days). So I'm not sure if you want to do a coat of arms (and how rigidly correct, since generally stuff like what colours are touching etc have limitations) or just a symbol-ish or sign-type of thing?
This is a quick overview on coats of arms parts: http://www.fleurdelis.com/coatofarms.htm and Wiki seems to have quite detailed overview too.
Last edited by TinyBird; October 3rd, 2012 at 06:06 AM.
Eschuton? Supporters? Thanks for the link! Are you going to design a coat of arms too?
I don't care about traditionalism if it is going to mess with my design, but I'll try my best to be technical. Since it's for an occult organization, and I'm a master occultist I can get super nerdy about symbology.
But I think a Hello Kitty coat of arms would be funny.
Oh this Fleur-de-lis Diagram is really excellent. I just woke up and I'm starting on hand drawing the scales so I'm going to be a bit before I start adding flora and incorporating more stuff. I think I might put the eshccchooton under the Mushushu's paws.
This site might help you, http://www.internationalheraldry.com/
I looked at heraldry a while back for a design. It is actually a really interesting subject, everything has a specific meaning. For example a helmet with the visor open vs. shut usually has something to do with social standing/status.
I know you're just starting and that's probs not your final design but it already looks like some of the details might be too minute for this kind of design.
maybe idk. rearranged the TAI logo to be the shield. i had to run the Mutational Alchemy discussion tonight so im going to call it a night im pretty beat and wasted and everyone in here is trying to watch Twin Peaks
I like how this one looks
Yeah, the shield that's in all of your example images and the various creatures that support that shield. And I don't know, maybe I should try, though not for any real life purpose.
Though I agree with Ian, you have lots of pretty minute details, and on top of that the silhouette of the monsters is hard to read with their legs shut like that, making it easy to see that they have one huge chicken leg (as the details make it even harder to figure out) which might not be that good for a t-shirt design that people are most likely going to see from far away.
Compare the legs of all the lions and dragon in your examples, they all have very clear silhouette that's similar in heraldry in general (probably because they needed to be as clear as possible because they were used to recognize people).
Especially if you think this might be used in different sizes, keeping the design clear enough would be important (like you can shrink a heraldic lion design to pretty small and still get that it's an animal standing up.) Even the latest example that has loads of details keeps the lion's pose non-overlapping.
Overall I think exploring the design, composition, proportions and placement of the limbs would have been best to be done in quick thumbnails first.
In heraldry, minutiae like the shape of the shield and the presence and orientation of the helmet and the like have actual meaning. The best is to do research into the actual rules of heraldry used at the time when the university was established, to understand why it is like this.
Normally, the significant part of the coat of arms that must be unique is the escutcheon (shield). The rest (supporters, helmet, etc.) is just for presentation, with some attached meaning like "this is a baron's arms" or "I like griffins" but not unique.
I wonder why some universirty coats of arms bear helmets, though. Helmets are for knights, AFAIK - actual people, not organizations. Not necessarily helmets, either - bishops would have miters and kings would have crowns, etc.
Does anyone know why some universities display helmets despite not being knighted?
Well maybe some of their professors were knighted. Royalty tends to hand out knighthoods to very odd people for very odd reasons having nothing to do with warfare
I just realized I have a show tomorrow and there have been complications resulting in me freaking out. BBL
"Overall I think exploring the design, composition, proportions and placement of the limbs would have been best to be done in quick thumbnails first."
This. Going straight into drawing every single scale on the dragon things without figuring it out properly will mean no matter how much you work itll never look right. The tarot cards suffer from the same problems; nice rendering is let down by bad anatomy and uncontrolled composition.
Youre trying to save yourself the work of doing 20 or 30 thumbnails and so instead are creating a huge amount of problems for yourself down the line.
You also havent done any studies of existing successful designs, and its showing in the incosistent lineweights and detail distribution.
These tarots by Souf Meng are exemplary. Great lighting, great composition, stunning brushwork. you need to do your homework to get this good, not launch into stuff unprepared.
Same goes for the William Black Tarot, and equally for his other illustrations
You need to do what all concept art students are taught, go back and do your thumbnails.
Last edited by Velocity Kendall; October 4th, 2012 at 03:52 PM.
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Knights are actually pretty low on the scale, only one lower is Esquire. Crowns seem to be reserved for Baron and above, the titles that are hereditary.
I haven't actually seen anything that clearly says what the helmet represents. Some were awarded for actual combat or achievements in tournaments. Apparently it could be awarded for other achievements, but it kinda sounds like they weren't meant to be passed on to descendants.
I wonder if it has something to do with philanthropy or founders etc. in the case of institutions.
I'd look at state seals too, Izi. That might give you a broader reference to draw from since they are sorta similar but follow their own rules.