Escudo de Castilla y León

Freedom and legitimacy to adopt arms

In Spain we are all legitimated to adopt and have our own coat of arms, it is a privilege that we can give ourselves in a pure exercise of freedom, is a right that has been passed down to us throughout our history, and it is as beautiful and simple as it seems.

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Fernando Garcia-Mercadal and García-Loygorri is one of the experts who best described this idea when he writes: «It is the adoption itself... the original way of acquiring a personal blazon that consists of the intellectual of a new coat of arms by whom it intends to make it his own, having the capacity and intention to assume it and subject it to heraldic laws and customs...» and on the basis of it makes us notice that «it can be maintained that every person... has the right, nowadays, to take on new arms, with the exception of blazons owned by others or the acquisition of one which is contrary to law». According to the same author, the proper adoption of a coat of arms has 3 outstanding features [García-Mercadal y García-Loygorri, F.; 2012; page 281]:

  • «Is an act... that can have legal effects,... which implies an intellectual creation,... the mental invention of a certain form and contents that in Western culture are known as coat of arms or blazon»,
  • «Has an identifiable purpose, inasmuch as its object is to be represented by means of the same and, as the case may be, transmit it to its heirs» and
  • «is not an act of free will, since the suitor must submit his armories to design rules».
Separador heráldico
Escudo de Castilla y León

A coat of arms for your personal brand

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For some years the concept of «personal brand» has been expanded, a concept that, moreover, is powered by the internet.

The idea of personal branding is based on producing, developing, transmitting and protecting the image and idea that we offer from ourselves to others, both in direct, indirect, physical contact and in the one we offer through of, for example, social networks. Personal branding helps us as professionals by offering our services and products, such as business people, in our social relationships and even in the job seeking

This concept of personal branding tells us that not only do we have to improve and empower ourselves as individuals or as professionals, but it is also convenient for others to perceive and retain it, in order to differentiate ourselves and achieve better achievements in our social relations, business and professional.

Our personal brand is elaborated step by step, in which the details are important and we must also ensure that the impression we make is lasting in time.

For this reason, our own coat of arms can be an ideal complement to our personal brand, which, managed with intelligence, is, unlike other elements, lasting in time and can improve and raise the level of our personal relationships.

The most natural way to incorporate our coat of arms to our personal brand is not to wait for the coat of arms to provide it automatically, but it is through a positive feedback loop where our good work and professionalism dignify it and returns it to us disclosing it permanently.

A coat of arms with its crest and 2 supports
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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.
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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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Sigue por: Artistic technique in Heraldry.

 

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