A family crest or coat of arms is a decorated shield that was originally intended for the use of an individual. Today they are widely used to represent an entire family or business. The shield consist of a ribbon that holds the family motto. The shield is separated into four parts that hold the family values. The crown symbolizes the family or individual's rank. The supporters are two identical characters on either side of the shield that hold the shield, but in some cases the supporter is just one character.
Draw the shield. Since you are the one creating the crest, you can create any shape for the shield. Many different styles can be used, although the most common is a shield with a flat top and a pointed bottom.
Design the shield the way you see fit. The shield is usually divided off into four parts. You have the choice of either filling the four parts individually or simply filling the entire shield as a whole.
Design the ribbon below the shield. You may choose to put the family name, your name or the family motto inside the ribbon. Originally, the motto of the individual was inserted into the ribbon.
Draw the supporters. These can be characters of any type, either fictional or realistic. They can be human or animal. Draw something that you think of when you think of holding things together. You may choose to pick an animal that best suits the family. You can choose to draw two of them identical to the other. Invert them on either side of the shield as if they were holding the shield up. Or you may have one behind the shield holding it up.
Draw the helmet. This needs to symbolize your rank. This could be your profession; if the family has a long line of police officers, draw a police officer's hat above the shield. Use your creativity and imagination for this part.
Draw the crest. The crest is what symbolizes the person. This can be almost anything real or imaginary. Some have used plants or animals to represent the type of family, person or business that they are.
Color the coat of arms. Use any color that you choose.
In the alternative, there are numerous online services available where you can create a computer-generated coat of arms. Sone are free while others are paid services. Before selecting one, review each provider carefully to see if the services offered fulfill your needs.
Meg Warren began writing how-to articles professionally in 2009. Born and raised in St. Louis, Miss., Warren has always been a creative person through art, writing and music. She is currently pursuing an associate degree at Patricia Stevens College for interior design.
manitoba crest image by Peter Helin from Fotolia.com