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How We Research

While all heraldry is in pictorial form, the majority of heraldic reference books contains no images at all, and is instead written in a coded language. 

This written form of the coat-of-arms is called a blazon and is comprised of Middle English, Latin and Old French. On top of that, the language of the country of origin of the reference book is often applied. 

And to make things even more interesting, there are heraldic “rules” to follow on how word descriptions relate to the exact positioning and placement of icons, symbols and colors for that family crest.

These complex rules of blazonry mean the likelihood of an error in “translating” the coat-of-arms from written form to the visual form is very real, and happens often when done by an inexperienced researcher or solely through online searches. 

The heraldic artist must be able to interpret all languages correctly since a single misplaced word can mean an inaccurate family shield.

At Shield & Crest:

 In-depth research completed on every family coat-of-arms via database and reference books, based on origin of name
  • Over 30 years translation experience accurately bringing family coat-of-arms from the page to paintbrush
  • A full reference library of heraldic texts for all nationalities, with original editions dating back to 1889
  • Fluent in all heraldry terms, with proficiency in written Latin, Irish, Spanish and Portuguese
  •  Available to interpret the colors and symbols on your coat-of-arms and family crest for its true meaning
With a lifetime of experience in translating written blazonry to its visual form, and mastery of several languages, we guarantee your family crest will be painted as history recorded.