Escudo de Castilla y León Libro abierto, hojas de plata, filo de oro, guardas de gules, tapas de sable.

García-Mercadal y García-Loygorri, F.; 2012

Fernando García-Mercadal y García-Loygorri, «La Regulación Jurídica de las Armerías: Apuntes de Derecho Heráldico Español», Emblemata XVIII, Aragonesa de Emblemática Magazine, Fernando El Católico Institution, ERAE, pages 259-297, ISSN 1137-1056, Zaragoza, 2012.

The following article cites this bibliographic reference:

Bibliographical reference of century XXI.

Separador heráldico
Escudo de Castilla y León

Your coat of arms

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We can all have our own coat of arms, this is true both in Spain and in many countries of the world and having it is simple.

The most direct way to have a coat of arms is to create it and adopt it as your own. Of course, there are other ways of acquiring it, for example, inheritance, concession, acquisitive prescription, some ways already impossible such as capture it in combat and other illusories, such as to believe that to buy one of our surname equal to hundreds of people with our surname, because our coat of arms, as our own signature, is something absolutely personal.

I can help you tu create and adopt your coat of arms. Your arms have to represent you and be a symbol of your ideals, goals, motivations or what you want to include on it, but also have to follow the rules of the heraldry and be created with art and professionalism and my heraldic services can help you.

For the creation of your coat of arms I follow a heraldic creation methodology that starts from your initial wishes and ideas about your future coat and follows a process of advance and refining until its definitive creation.

A coat of arms is described by its blazon and admits different forms of artistic expression. Therefore, a coat of arms and its blazon are something much richer and freer than the logotype concept. The definitions of the logotypes that are registered are strict in terms of colours, shapes, dimensions leaving no room for creativity. However, when a blazon says a «a Unicorn Argent, salient», each artist can create a different unicorn in a more or less stylized jumping attitude and where their silver colour can be chosen from a wide range of light grays and even all types of whites.

Therefore, your new personal coat of arms created with my help can later be interpreted by other artists that provide other different and enriching visions, and can also be shaped on different media such as paper, wood, metal, etc. In turn, if you already have arms of your own, I would be delighted to carry out my own interpretation of them.

Canting arms with its crest
Separador heráldico
Escudo de Castilla y León

Artistic style

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My style as a heraldic artist could be drawn with three terms: clear, symbolic and methodic.

  • It is clear because my work searches pieces which transmit energy and vital force to the owner and its relatives. I think that a coat of arms should be a source of light and joy and an expression of freedom. That's why in my heraldic creative process I do prefer to get inspiration in early stages of the heraldic history and protray that freshness to the present.
  • It is symbolic because coats of arms must be a representation of its bearer, his/her ideals, goals, motivations, history and anything he/she might want to display. Thus, the creation of a coat of arms should encompass all the signifieds brought by the future owner together with its signifiers, the blazon heraldic rules and the art contributed by the heraldic artist.
  • It is methodical because heraldic art is founded on a science, the so called «science of heraldry». This systematic knowledge has its principles, its composition rules and its own formal language all of those the true foundations of my artistic methodology. The method must not be considered disincentive to creativity, but a fair support and a guarantee of the professional work.

This brief description of my artistic style is detailed in the following series of articles where there's a broader insight in my methodology, my artistic techniques and my track both artistic and personal.

Separador heráldico
Escudo de Castilla y León

Heraldic creation methodology

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During the writing and illustration of «The book of the coat of arms of the Wolves Sable and the Unicorns Argent» I established the basis of a work procedure, which has now established my own heraldic creation methodology. Aware of the need for a methodology to deliver a constant quality service to my clients I'm improving it with the accumulated experience.

The methodology can be described as a 3-phase 3-activity-per-phase process which includes the return to any previous phase in a cycle of constant refining.

The thorough accomplishment of these nine activities (3 times 3) bring the result expected by the future holder of the heraldic shield.

These three phases are:

  • Conception which includes the activities of, elicitation and ideation, heraldic research and critique as well as the creation of a sketch coat of arms.
  • Plastic execution activities: layout and tincture; ornamentation and accompaniment; lighting and final art.
  • Completion and fulfillment activities: heraldic edition; final review and delivery; documentation and closure of records.
Separador heráldico
Escudo de Castilla y León

Conception, a phase with three activities

Elicitation and ideation:

  • Its objective is to acquire all the signifieds, the ideational components, which must be represented in the blazon as well as the conceptual and symbolic ideation of the shield.
  • Its output must be a candidate representation alongside one or more alternative depictions.
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Heraldic research and critique:

  • Its purpose is to compare the candidate design with the proposed alternatives, first by its heraldic investigation and comparison with other blazons and finally by its esthetic relative estimation.
  • The crop will be the documented decision on the chosen design.

Creation of a sketch of the coat of arms:

  • The aim is the realization a first exhibit of the translation of the blazon into a shield. The activity includes a delineation of the future ornament with at least the motto.
  • The result must be an initial acceptance by the future owner and may be an agreement for a refining cycle going back to any of the previous stages.
Separador heráldico
Escudo de Castilla y León

Plastic execution, a phase with three activities

Layout and tincture:

  • This stage's goal is to draw freehand the ordinaries and charges which will be placed upon the blazon and tincture them in plain colours and metals.
  • The result is the definitive coat of arms in plain tincture.
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Ornamentation and accompaniment:

  • It aims the creation of the ornament and, where appropriate, of their complementary heraldic objects, for example, seal, badget, flag, bookplate, etc., all of them determined by the final composition of the coat of arms.
  • Its result is the shield with its ornament and its additions in plain colours and metals.

Lighting and final art:

  • Its objective is, depending on the cases, lighting or shading of ordinaries, figures, crest, etc., and give the final finish to the heraldic objects.
  • The result is the shield, its ornament and complements finished as plastic work reviewable by the future owner. This could drive to a refining cycle returning to some of the earlier phases.
Separador heráldico
Escudo de Castilla y León

Completion and fulfillment, a phase with three activities

Heraldic edition:

  • Its objective is the definitive edition of the blazon and its explanatory texts illustrated with images of the coat of arms, accompanied by the heraldic objects that complement it and adorned with a specific framework tailored to each registrant.
  • Its outcome is a catalog of delivery of the heraldic work stamped, signed, dated and numbered.

Final review and delivery:

  • Its goal is a last review of the complete work and to perform the latest appropriate corrections.
  • The result is the delivery of the work to its holder, point where the heraldic services end.

Documentation and closure of records:

  • Its goal is to finish the internal documentation of the work and the final archival of both the intermediate material and the final result.
  • The result is a new record, keyed on the numbering of the heraldic catalog, in a documentary and graphic content management file.
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Separador heráldico

Sigue por: Artistic technique in Heraldry.


Dr. Antonio Salmerón y Cabañas,
Paseo de la Castellana 135, planta 7a,
28046 Madrid, España.