40 Fancy Coat of Arms Templates (Family Crests)

If you have ever watched a movie about medieval times, you may have noticed that knights bear their own coat of arms. These are colorful decorations that appear on their shields and they consider these as part of their outfits. Knights also use the coat of arms to identify each other. They would wear their coat of arms over their armor during tournaments and battles. Many English families have their own coat of arms. But there are instances where two families have the same one. In such a case, a court known as the Court of Chivalry will convene to decide which family will get to keep the symbol.

Coat of Arms Templates

What is a coat of arms?

You will usually find the coat of arms on a person’s shield. The main purpose of the symbols and colors was to distinguish an individual in competitions and battles. Today, people refer to the coat of arms as a family crest. This is a heraldic achievement that consists of the coat of arms on the shield along with other elements like a helmet, crown, mantling, crest, torse, supporters, motto, or order.

Before working on a blank family crest or looking for family crests templates, you should know that these aren’t exactly the same. Although the terms family crest and coat of arms are now used interchangeably, when talking about the context of heraldry terminology, they aren’t the same. A family crest refers is a symbol above a helm or helmet atop the coat of arms. You would use the crest as an adornment on a helmet or in place of the coat of arms to make it simpler.

Blank Coat Of Arms

A short history

The traditional coat of arms we have today has its roots from heraldic arms. During the Middle Ages, the years between the 15th and the 16th century, heraldic arms were very common throughout Europe. Historically speaking, heraldic arms were a design that belonged to a specific group of people or individuals. These designs were intentionally used by noblemen and knights so that they can be easily identified from their enemies.

Traditionally, the coat of arms is to get passed on from a father to his son or from a wife to their daughter. As time passed, the use of this symbol transferred from the military to regions, families, educational institutions, and other types of institutions. During the earlier years of heraldic history, our ancestors sought the help of an officer-of-arms or heraldic artists to help them design their coat of arms. To do this, they had to provide the attributes of their family that the artist would add to the coat of arms. The artist will then depict the attributes through various colors, symbols, and designs.

Family Crests Templates

Choosing the symbols for your coat of arms template

If you want to create a coat of arms for yourself, you can start with a blank coat of arms. Then you can decide what to include in it. Here are some ideas for you:

  • Ancestral background

Try to trace your family line as far back as medieval times or even farther. This will give you an idea of the traditional symbology used by your ancestors.

  • Family values

Think about the values your family holds dear. Remember that there are many attributes, characteristics, and values associated with symbology. So choosing could be a challenge.

  • Interests and hobbies

You can also associate your love of sports, reading, or music with symbology when designing your coat of arms.

  • Your main purpose

Consider the main purpose of why you want to make a coat of arms. You could have several themes, then you can narrow them down until you find the symbols to use.

Blank Family Crests

How to make a coat of arms

A coat of arms isn’t exclusive as anyone can one. To do this, you need to understand the elements of a coat of arms along with the symbolism behind each design. Creating your coat of arms happens in two stages:

Come up with a design

First, select the shape of your shield. Most of the time, the shield has an upside-down triangle shape with a bit of a curvature of the lines. But you can feel free to express your creativity and select any shape you want.

You can find inspiration by experimenting with various shapes. After this, you can select your shield’s divisions. This refers to how you will segment your shield or what shapes you will use in it. When thinking of a design for your shield, you can either choose a unique design or use classic heraldry.

The next thing to choose is the color of the shield. You can use varying colors in the different segments. There are shields that only have one color and no segments while some don’t even have colors. After this, it’s time to embellish. Choose the “charges” you want to on your shield.

The designs on your shield are the charges and they can be anything from animals, stars, flowers, crescent moons, mythological creatures, or sunbursts. Most of the animals that appear in shields are typically shown as 2-dimensional. This means they look flat and the only characteristics that identify them as animals like their wings and tails are obviously seen.

Next, choose the color of your embellishments or charges. Traditional shields use metallic colors. In classic heraldry, the different colors symbolize various traits. Since this is your own shield, you have the freedom to use any colors you want. To help you decide, here are some of the meanings of the colors:

  • Yellow or gold for generosity.
  • White or silver for serenity and peace.
  • Blue for loyalty and truth.
  • Red for military strength or a warrior.
  • Green for joy and hope.
  • Black for constancy or grief.
  • Purple for justice or royalty.
  • Orange for ambition.
  • Maroon for achieving victory while having patience in battle.

Determine the posture of the charges. Your charges can have different postures. If your charges are creatures or animals, they will stand on their hind legs sideways or stand on their hind legs facing front. They can also appear as lying down, sitting, or walking. Charges that have standing postures are generally considered more fierce, prepared for battle, and alert. Sitting charges generally represent serenity and peacefulness.

Determine which accessories to use

You would usually add accessories outside your shield. You can lay out the other elements of your coat of arms by selecting various accessories. These could be anything from plants, flowers, a crown, or anything that will symbolize yourself or your family. Think about the helm too. This is the object that sits atop your shield. For instance, some use a coronet, which looks like a pillow that a king’s helmet sits on. The coronet rests on your shield.

If you plan to use a coronet as part of your crest, you can place the helmet on it. You can choose almost any style. For instance, the crest can also sit atop a helmet, depending on the helmet’s style. This crest may include another element like the head of a deer or rooster.

This element may vary from one family to another and if a family belonged to a higher peerage. The mantling is next. This refers to the leaves that are usually attached to the bottom part of the crest or the top part of the helmet. For example, you may choose to have the leaves of a tree to symbolize growth and strength.

Add the finishing touches

At this point, you’re almost done. Now, it’s time to select your supporters. These are anything that will hold up or support your shield. This could be a person, bird, or any other type of animal. Remember that this is an important part of your coat of arms as it will take up as much space as your shield. Think about what symbolizes you best. Then decide if you want to have compartment underneath your shield.

Compartments on shields usually consist of simple branches or leaves that fill the space between the banner and the shield itself. You may also consider bows or ribbons instead. Speaking of the banner, you should think about the design too. The banner is a simple ribbon where you would present your motto. Here are some tips for creating your motto:

  • You can use a traditional inspirational adage or something you thought about on your own.
  • You can include your complete name on the banner. Since the coat of arms represents you, make sure to place something that’s significant to you.
  • You can talk to your family to come up with a motto for your banner. Do this if you’re making a coat of arms for your family.
  • A quote or saying in a different language could also your banner more unique. After choosing a motto, you can use Google Translate to change it to a different language. This will make your banner more interesting.

After adding all of these finishing touches, look over the whole design again to see if there is something else you want to change or add. If not, you can then enjoy your new coat of arms.

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