How to create your own coat of arms

This article was co-authored by Renée Plevy. Renée Plevy is an Internationally Acclaimed Portrait Artist from New York/Palm Beach who has painted The Grand Dames of Palm Beach and various celebrities and community leaders. With over 50 years of experience, Renée specializes in painting realistically in oil and capturing the soul of the person. She has studied under internationally renowned portrait artists John Howard Sanden, David Leffel, Robert Beverly Hale, Clyde Smith, and Leonid Gervits. Renée is featured in over 68 shows and galleries including a one-woman museum show at the Paterson Museum. She has garnered numerous awards including “Artist of the Year” from The Bloomfield Art League and First Prize from the Boca Raton Museum Artist’s Guild. Renée has even painted a portrait of celebrity, Vanilla Ice. She also teaches at the Boca Raton Museum Art School – formerly at SVA in Manhattan.

There are 12 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

This article has been viewed 221,497 times.

People who are interested in genealogy will often conduct intense searches to fill in the gaps of their family tree. If you are interested in genealogy, you may find out that your ancestors had their own coat of arms. However, you may discover that you are either unable to find your family’s coat of arms or perhaps you simply find the idea and symbolism fascinating. With an understanding of the elements of a coat of arms and the symbolism behind these designs, you can create your own coat of arms!

Create a shield

A blazon is like a personal logo. Every one has a right to bear one.

A long, very long time ago, people invented a way to graphically represent themselves in an easy and consistent way. Their designed simple rules to mix patterns, colors and pictures on shields. Inspired by this thousand years old tradition which is still alive, we created MyBlazon to allow anyone to craft their very own shield as a personnal emblem.

Express your silent, yet true self, through your own, unique coat of arm, that is a shield with incredible drawings, bright colors, and genuine meanings.

If you wish, you can have your coat of arms represent your values: what your are, what you believe in.
You may also decide to adopt a nice design without attaching too much meaning to it.
Your choice !

In heraldry, a charge is any emblem or device occupying the field of an escutcheon (shield). That may be a geometric design (sometimes called an ordinary) or a symbolic representation of a person, animal, plant, object, building, or other device.


This staff entwined by two serpents, sometimes surmounted by wings, is often used on shields; it reminds of the greek god Hermes.

Fleur de Lys

One of the major ornament associated with heraldry. A flower with three petals.


We just love very much this intelligent creature from the sea.

A nice bird prey, which traditionally represents prudence and wisdom, or simply the night.

Depicted with a face, it is termed “in its splendor” and is the emblem of glory.

Vine and vine leaves may be used to represent indutry and plenty.

What do you stand for ? What are your inner beliefs ? What are your main psychological traits ?
As a device representing yourself, a coat of arms may also represent some of your core values.

Comes in many forms, physical, intellectual, even social. “Can-do” attitude.

You may believe in God, or in Humanity or maybe in Love.

Are you a compulsive learner ? Do you feel you need to know ? Goes well with curiosity and, some say, with power.

Makes you focus less on today’s troubles, more on tomorrow’s improvements. Goes well with patience.

Ability to control your fear in a dangerous or difficult situation; to overcome fear or grief.

They say “a secret life is a happy life”. Choose secrecy if you think the truth might hurt someone else.

Owning valuable things can boost your self-esteem, owning too many is also a cause for trouble.

For those who have the ability to feel good and naturally keep their smile. Can be contagious!

Do you often feel you saw it happen ? You may have this special gift.

A value this is sometimes mocked as a weakness, but is mostly a consequence of high empathy.

Our users have talent !
We regularly select and publish what some users have done with MyBlazon. Tell us if you’d like yours to be published here !


Per fess Sable and Ermine, in chiefone pheon Argent.

A coat of arms is really like a stylish logo based on the ancient rules of heraldry.
You can use your own everywhere you would put your name, your logo or your signature.

Design your own coat of arms symbols for a “Family”, “Raising a Modern Day Knight”, “Pathfinders”, “Company Logo”, or simply for your own family crest. A custom coat of arms is created for many reasons. The Tree Maker can offer simplistic artwork or advanced art work to create the family crest symbol, company logo, or school emblem.

Free Estimate – Easy Online Form to Fill Out!!

6 Quick Steps to Create a Custom Coat of Arms – Start Below.

School emblems or college insignias are also offered with our custom services and will include any symbols that are needed in the design. With over 130,000 visitors a month you can imagine the demand for our customized services, but we normally have a three day turn around. Remember that you change your design by adding or subtracting clipart symbols at anytime. We offer our Simplistic clipart along with advanced graphics for custom work like; a company logo, school emblem or even a college insignia to fit your specifications.

Parts of a Coat of Arms / Important Symbols to Include

There are several parts to a coat of arms. Each of the important sections is shown in the picture above. When you design a coat of arms, you want to create a coat of arms to fit your needs. Making a coat of arms is normally a fun and exciting time for you and your family, or you may be creating a company logo or even a emblem for a school, association, or organization of some kind. The main parts of a coat of arms are listed below, but you do not have to use all of them when you make your own coat of arms.

Step 1. Getting Started:

We offer an On Line Form so you can explain in detail how you want your coat of arms designed and it can be found in Step 4, but you need to read Steps 1, 2, and 3 first before filling out the On Line Form.

We offer two types of artwork: Advanced Professional Level and our Simplistic Clipart Level. You will need to decide which level of artwork you wish to use in making a coat of arms.

Our Advanced Artwork Level involves creating most if not all of the clipart symbols from scratch. Although this is much more time consuming it does give you that unique and personalized look in the design. It also can have a more realistic or detailed or even “Old World” look as well depending on the design. To see a simple example of the differences please Click Here..

Our Simplistic Artwork Level involves basic normal heraldic clipart in the design of the custom coat of arms, company logo, college insignia, or school emblem that we can use from our database of heraldic symbols. This type of artwork is more simplistic then the Advanced Services. It also is offered at a lower cost. To view many of these coat of arms symbols in the designs we have created, just scroll down. We also have clipart links listed even further below to show one symbol at a time. To see a simple example of the differences of these two different levels than please Click Here..

Step 2. Get Ideas: Please take a Look at the Sample Links.

Samples of Coat of Arms

Step 3. Picking the Right Symbols in Your Custom Design

This is the fun part of customizing a family coat of arms / crest, company logo, or the emblem of a collage, university or organization. Whether you are using our Advanced Level Artwork or our Simplistic Artwork, you will need some more ideas on the symbols to use in making a coat of arms. We have listed a few popular symbols below that we have online, which will keep your cost down. Please keep in mind that we have over 10,000 clipart symbols that may not be listed, so do not hesitate on letting us know the design you have in mind for a custom coat of arms, logo, or emblem. You can find the meaning behind each symbol at: Glossary of Heraldry Terms. This may help you in the designing of your custom coat of arms.

Step 4. Getting the Information to Us for an Estimate

Each of the clip art designs shown above can be custom made to fit your own coat of arms or company logo. This type of service is time consuming. Our prices start at $35.00 for pre-made templates that require little artwork, to much more elaborate designs, which increases our time and the cost of the customized coat of arms or company logo. It all depends on what you want your coat of arms / family crest or company logo / emblem to look like. But the average cost is $100.00 to $150.00. These custom designed coats of arms can be used on most of our other genealogy products.

Once you have an idea of what you need on your coat of arms you will need to send it to us so we can give you an estimate of the coat. The link below is for our On-Line Form.

Step 5. Placing Your Order for a Custom Coat of Arms

The Tree Maker wants to first tell you what you can expect after placing an order for a custom coat of arms, company logo symbol, or school / collage emblem. You will get the following:

One emailed coat of arms in jpeg form.

One emailed coat of arms in other formats if needed.

Online preview of coat of arms design during each revision to artwork.

Three free revision to change the artwork / clipart placement or symbols.

Once You Have Been Given an Estimate – Click Here!!

Step 6. Making Changes or Revisions to Your Custom Design

You can easily make changes to your custom coat of arms design. Once we have received payment and been given the list of symbols you are wanting in the design then we will get started. When we are ready for you to take a look at the first draft we will up-load your custom coat of arms to our Preview for Customer Webpage where you can view the new design. Keep in mind that these pictures are not high quality pictures, but low quality and are only for you to have an idea of what your custom coat of arms will look like.

The first revision is free and includes 3 small changes. Small changes would be considered:

Resizing a symbol larger or smaller.

Changing a symbol to a different color.

Moving a symbol to a different area on the drawing.

Adding a symbol that is already created.

Some customers have the misconception that changing artwork is normally very easy and sometimes it is. But sometimes a small change in say making a symbol look up instead of down will take an hour to change, but another symbol was created in a manner that only takes 5 minutes to make it look up instead of down. We reserve the right to make the decision on what is easy and what is not as we have the expertise to understand how the artwork of any symbol was created and how long it will take to make the change. This is why some changes are not allowed to be considered a free change.

From that point on each change will be $5.00 for simplistic artwork. Advanced artwork revisions are charged by the hour and is normally estimated for customer on the cost. If you decide that you want to start from the beginning again or make some dramatic changes to the design then expect there to be an added charge. This is why we suggest you take your time and add symbols to the coat of arms that you know you will like.

Second Revisions Are Not Free!!

All revisions made after the free revision, will add to the cost of the original coat of arms design. Revisions from this point are charged by time of artist.

Posted by Jeff Ezzell on Jan 29, 2018

Designing Your Own Unique Family Crest

There is a lot of history behind family crests, or coat of arms. In some areas of the world these were only designed for the wealthy or nobles. In others it was created by the head of the household to distinguish his family line over others with the same name. It is possible to purchase a registered family crest by searching data bases in the U.K., U.S. and Scotland or to research genealogical websites and find common crests used for specific surnames. It is also possible to design an entirely unique crest that will represent the family as it is today.

Understanding the Basic Crest

A family coat of arms has several basic components. These individual parts include the shield, the mantling and the helm and wreath. Some, but not all, also include a crest. Colors, animals or other artwork and mottoes are all additional choices to make. The designer must also select the type of metal to be used and what designs (called charges) to add to the shield.

Choosing Shield and Helm

Shield shapes vary and most designers select the shape that is distinctive of the geographical area where they or their ancestors were born. The helm or helmet is displayed at the top center of the shield. This is often based solely on aesthetic preference, but can include a reference to military rank or a particular time period.

Adding Mantle and Wreath

The wreath is a design that sits above the shield. It is in six parts and made to look like a twisted rope. The single main color and the metal are traditionally used in an alternating pattern along the rope. The mantle is a decorative design that wraps around the sides of the shields. It is often depicted in a pattern that resembles leaves, but any decorative design that drapes the sides of the shield is acceptable.

Selecting Crests and Colors

The crest is the symbol that appears above the helm and often include animals like lions or stags. Eliminating it entirely from design is acceptable, if desired. Colors are chosen by meaning. For example, red is generally a color of strength or military achievement and gold generosity. There are many charts that define the colors slightly differently, so the final choice should include whatever the designer prefers.

Including Motto and Name

A banner across the top of the shield lists the motto for the family and one below the shield will display the family name. Most people will generally stick with the traditional family motto if it is known, but when designing something entirely unique it is acceptable to choose one that has personal meaning.

It is possible to register a coat of arms once it is complete. The designer of the crest can register it either in the United States or with the country of their heritage if a registry in that country currently exists. There is also an international database as well. Once the coat of arms is complete in its design there are many companies that are happy to convert the artwork to a decorative plaque for display. For more information, contact companies like Heraldry & Crests.

Traditional family crests stemmed from heraldic arms, also known as coat of arms or armorial bearings. Heraldic arms were common throughout Europe in the Middle Ages (the 1000 years between the 5th and the 16th century).

Historically heraldic arms were a design belonging to a particular person or group of people. These designs tended to be used by knights and noble men to identify them apart from enemy soldiers. In such traditions these coat of arms were passed from father to son or from wife to daughter.
Over time the use of such crests moved from the military to families, regions and other institutions such as educational institutions.

In times past your own family ancestors would have approached a heraldic artist or officer of arms to design your family crest. Your ancestors would have chosen attributes of that family that the officer of arms would depict in the family crest. These attributes would tend have been depicted through various shield designs, colour(s) and symbols, known as ‘charges’, such as animals and plant designs.

Our crests are available in larger sizes

The crest you’ve been working on above is only the small version, medium and large versions are also possible, for a small fee.
No MyTribe101 account is necessary, and payment is secured by PayPal.

Have you done something cool with your crest?

Send us your photos of how you used your newly purchased family crest and enter a prize draw for a $30 Amazon voucher.

MyTribe101 Ltd.,
Officepods, 15A Main St, Blackrock,
Co. Dublin, A94 T8P8, Ireland.
Company number: 482158

Create shields, learn blazonry, study heraldry

Welcome to the DrawShield Suite of Heraldry Programs and Resources.

On these pages you will find tools to help you understand Heraldry and Blazonry and create heraldic images. Some of the things that you can do on this site are:

New to the site? Try the “Getting Started” video below.


Blazonry is a special language, part English, part French, used to precisely describe the colours, shapes and objects that appear on a heraldic shield. There are several places to get help and information about DrawShield and the art of blazonry.

Drawshield User Guide

The User Guide shows you how to use this website as well containing a complete reference to all the terms that DrawShield can understand and a tutorial on the language of Blazonry for those new to Heraldry. The Catalog shows thumbnail images of most of the things that DrawShield supports.

Other Information on Blazonry and Heraldry

If you would like to learn more about Blazonry and Heraldry there are many books available on the subject, almost all of which cover at least the basics of the blazon language. As well as the guide and tutorial mentioned above there is a good on-line Grammar of Blazonry written by Bruce Miller of the Society for Creative Anachronism, most of which can be applied directly to Drawshield.

Looking For Your Family History or Coat of Arms?

DrawShield is just for creating and sharing heraldry, if you want to find your family coat of arms or family I suggest contacting a professional genealogist. If you are in North America I can highly recommend (Disclosure: the author has provided consultancy to If you are in the UK I suggest contacting Green Dragon Genealogy for a personalised and professional service.

Requests, Comments and Feedback

Finally, if you would like to help improve DrawShield or have suggestions for new features please go to the Contacts page.

Please Help!

DrawShield is a Free service supported by its users.

If you can, please help cover the cost of the server, or just buy the team a coffee to say thanks!

Hi friends, today we’re learning about a coat of arms . Have you heard that phrase before? Coat of arms? A coat of arms is the arrangement of symbols, colors, and shapes on a shield and it is used to identify families or individuals like you. The first coat of arms was used during the Middle Ages as a way for knights to identify each other. When knights wear full armor and a helmet, it’s hard to tell who they are, so they began to paint symbols on their shields, eventually, they would put the symbols on their banners and on the coat they wore over their armor, which is where we get the phrase, coat of arms .

A coat of arms is unique to the person. Do you know what unique means? Unique means being the only one of its kind and unlike anything else. You are unique. No one looks or acts quite like you, which is a good thing! What are some ways you are unique? Do you have special freckles or extra curly hair? What is something you’re good at? Maybe dancing or counting to 100!

Let’s create our own coat of arms that is unique to us! To create your personal coat of arms, you need a piece of paper, any size, any color, and something to write with. You can also print out the coat of arms worksheet! You can make your shield any size, but keep in mind that we’re going to draw inside the shield, so leave yourself enough room to draw!

Directions to Draw Your Shield:

  1. To draw your shield, first, draw a giant U.
  2. Now close the “U” by drawing a line across the top.
  3. Draw a line across the middle from the top of the shield to the bottom and a second line left to right so you have four spaces to draw in. You have now drawn a shield!

To make this coat of arms personal to you we’re going to draw some of your favorite things in your shield. We need to start with our first initial so everyone knows who this shield belongs to.

Directions to Design Your Coat of Arms:

  1. In one space draw your first initial which is the first letter of your name.
  2. Draw your favorite animal in another space.
  3. In the third space draw your favorite food.
  4. Finally, draw your favorite activity. Do you like to read, dance, or play?

Be sure to add some color to your shield and share it with us!

Basic Custom Design: US$ 150.00

  • Fairly Simple
  • Very Little Original Artwork
  • US$ 50 Deposit; Balance On Approval

For custom designs that are fairly simple, using our own, extensive collection of heraldry artwork with very little original artwork. We can change colors, text, orientation (i.e., the direction the element/animal faces), and make minor modifications to our artwork. If you want us to use a particular piece of art that we don’t already have, this would bump the design up to the next level unless you can provide that art in true vector format, i.e., EPS, AI, or CDR.

Place Your Custom Design Order, Now!

Deluxe Custom Design: US$ 225.00

  • Some Detail
  • Some Original Artwork
  • US$ 75 Deposit; Balance On Approval

For custom designs requiring some original artwork and/or have a degree of complexity such as more than four quarters in the shield and numerous elements. We can recreate one or two pieces of artwork that you send to us in vector format so that the artwork can be used in your new design. If you can provide artwork in true vector format, i.e., EPS, AI, or CDR, that will save you some of the expense.

Place Your Custom Design Order, Now!

Premium Custom Design: US$ 295.00

  • Complex and/or Detailed
  • Substantial Original Artwork
  • US$ 100 Deposit; Balance On Approval

For custom designs requiring a substantial amount of original artwork and/or are very complicated and detailed. We can recreate an entire historical design in high resolution and vector formats so that the artwork can be used for a variety of purposes. We can also create a unique mantling, helm, banners, shield shape, etc. in this category. If you are not sure which category your design falls in, you can request a quote and/or send us some examples.

Place Your Custom Design Order, Now!

For All of Our Custom Coats of Arms, Crests, and Logos.

. this is the what you receive:

All our designs are vector, meaning that by their nature they are high resolution — and they can be enlarged without losing resolution. If you request a Photoshop enhancement, such as an embossing effect, your embossed design will not be vector, but you will still receive the underlying artwork in vector format.

How It Works

Give us a description, a list of symbols, a list of values that you want represented in your design, or send us a drawing of what you have in mind. We will set up a web page just for you to view the design, and then you can give us your requested changes before the final product is delivered. One revision is included in each order; additional revisions (within reason) are US$ 20.00 each. We offer your final design in several computer image formats, i.e., JPG, EPS, PNG (both vector and bitmap), but you can also specify a particular format. A deposit is required when the order is placed; the balance is due upon approval of the final artwork.

Place Your Custom Design Order, Now!

Other Information

Deciding on a Style

Classical or Modern? Embossed or Blended? This may help you decide.

Popular Ways to Divide Shields

The way the shield is divided is an important design decision!

Basic Guidelines

Keep these guidelines in mind in designing your new coat of arms and/or crest.

Various Shield Backgrounds

Examples of some of the more popular shield backgrounds.


These are the geometric features you see on many coats of arms.


Coats of arms and crests are a great way to symbolize your core values.

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Create your family coat of arms online with Mike Bedford’s step-by-step guide.

Read on to discover how to make an online coat of arms to illustrate your family tree.

Heraldry is a long-established artistic tradition and the right to bear arms is a matter that has been taken, and continues to be taken extremely seriously. As a means to help familiarise yourself with the words and phrases used in heraldry, it is both enjoyable and useful to have a go at drawing up the description you may find in a blazon.

How to use DrawShield

To do this, my recommended software is the online utility DrawShield which offers a couple of ways of defining the coat of arms.

The first option is to select to ‘Create’ a shield by choosing from a menu on the home page. You are then asked questions in a logical sequence to build up a coat of arms.

So, for example, the first question offers a choice of either a simple shield or a complex field and, if you choose the latter, you’re prompted to select either:

  • a treatment
  • a fur
  • a division

Picking a division offers countless options, and so the process goes on. If you know exactly how a coat of arms should look, this is an excellent way of drawing it.

The second option, which is ideal if you know the blazon (formal textual description of the coat of arms), is to choose ‘Create and share your own shields by entering a blazon’ on the home page.

This works exactly how you might expect and, although it’s a remarkably clever bit of software, it doesn’t always get it right, but it is constantly being improved.

Whichever method you choose, though, when your shield is displayed on-screen, you can download it as either a bitmap or a vector image. It’s also interesting to see that, in its latest version, DrawShield is also able to create a complete heraldic achievement.

Article extracted from an in-depth family history and heraldry guide in the May 2021 issue of Family Tree magazine.

About the author

Coats of arms have long been a fascination to Mike Bedford, although it’s only fairly recently that he’s appreciated them as anything other than attractive images. Given that the language of blazon, which is used to formally define a coat of arms, has been likened to computer programs, of which Mike has had quite some experience, this only adds to the appeal of heraldry.

Pick one of 60 shields, pick one of 130 crests, pick one of 38 color schemes and pick 2 of millions of colors. Now you have one of thousands of different coat of arms possibilities. I tried to change up the styles of the crests here and there to give you a broader range of styles to pick from.
More features, icons, crests and so on will be added in the future, but it’ll take some time to create and add them.

Enable draggables: By enabling this you can add as many crests as you’d like. You can then resize them with the enable dragging and resize them with enable resize.
Dragging pieces: You can drag pieces by clicking the ‘enable dragging’ button, this allows you to drag all crest pieces to any position you wish.
Resize pieces: You can resize pieces by clicking the ‘enable resize’ button, this allows you to resize all crest pieces.

Saving the image

To save the image simply click the ‘turn to image’ button at the bottom and the entire coat of arms will be converted into a single image, which will appear below the ‘turn to image’ button. Simply right click it and select save as to save it to your computer.
If this doesn’t work, which happens in some browsers, you can take a screenshot of the editable coat of arms. On both windows and mac you can take a screenshot of just part of the screen as follows:
– Windows: Open the snipping tool (comes with windows vista, 7 and 8) and drag the crosshair across the generated coat of arms, you can now save the image with the same tool. If you have an older version you’ll have to press ‘alt’+ ‘prt src’ and then paste the image in paint or another program to edit out the rest of the screen.
– Mac: Press ‘command’ + ‘shift’ + ‘4’ and then drag the crosshair across the generated coat of arms. Once you release the mouse button the image will automatically be saved to a folder (I assume the default pictures folder).
– Mobile devices: It really depends on the brand and type of device, so you’ll probably have to Google it for your specific device.

It’s also possible to save your coat of arms data locally. Simply click the “Save local” button to have the code create a text file with all the coat of arms code in it, then click on the download link to download it directly to your computer. Now you can use the “Choose file” field to upload your coat of arms data and use it in the future. This method makes sure there’s no risk of losing all your data in case your browser data is wiped, for example, but it does mean keeping track of your downloaded file.

Commercial use

As mentioned, this tool is meant mostly as a source of inspiration, but the images can be used for non-commercial projects as well, as long as it isn’t another coat of arms creator or other similar piece of work that uses the individual images. However, I cannot allow you to use the images for commercial projects without my permission, but feel free to contact me if you do want to use it commercially, we can probably work something out.
At the end of the day this site, which I put a lot of time into, is still a means to create an income for myself, so I do have to protect some assets.