Using DrawShield to draw a coat of arms
The official definition of a coat of arms is called a blazon. It’s written in a strange mixture of English and Norman French according to very strict rules. The blazon for the coat of arms we created using Coat of Arms Design Studio is “Quarterly Or and Gules in the first quarter a mullet Argent” which makes sense once we know that Or means gold, Gules means red and a mullet is a five pointed star.
Since any reference to someone’s coat of arms will almost certainly provide the blazon, using a clever piece of software called DrawShield provides an easy way to draw a coat of arms. The web app can be found at tinyurl.com/cevh6sj http://www.karlwilcox.com/drawshield/create/.
Try typing “Argent, a lion rampant gules and a bordure sable bezanty” into the box at the top-left and click on ‘Draw Shield!’. The shield corresponding to that description will appear on screen and you can save it to disk as an SVG format image by clicking on ‘Save to file’.
While DrawShield is certainly easy to use it does have its drawbacks compared to Coast of Arms Design Studio. First, although it will usually work with simple coats of arms it’s not hard to find a blazon that it can’t interpret. Second, the blazon defines the essential features but allows for a degree of artistic choice. While Coast of Arms Design Studio provides options for customising elements such as the width of borders and the sizes of symbols, DrawShield provides no such flexibility.