I recently started making new heraldic avatars for friends on the Armour Archive.

I really hadn’t planned on doing this as a business — it was just a thing to play with and keep busy. But after getting the responses I have, and a few suggestions that I should have charged, I’m officially going into (side) business making these puppies.

Do you want a high-resolution, high-quality image of your arms, badge, or other similar graphical symbol? I can provide that. Why have some ugly paint or bit-mapped image on your webpage? Heck, why not have a professionally produced heraldic letterhead or business card?

I will also produce graphics of badges for award for kingdom, principality, and baronial use, if requested.

Sound interesting? Read on!

Avatar Packages:

There are three different packages:

- Avatar Package A -
(flat avatars)

- Avatar Package B -
(3D avatars)

- Avatar Package C -
(dual avatars)

1. Three avatars: a professionally flat GIF at 50 pixels, 100 pixels, and 200 pixels maximum dimension.

2. A letter-size (8 1/2" x 11") page PDF with a 6" rendering of the design

1. Three avatars: a professional textured GIF at 50 pixels, 100 pixels, and 200 pixels maximum dimension.

2. A letter-size (8 1/2" x 11") page PDF with a 6" rendering of the design.

1. Eight avatars: both a professionally textured and flat GIF at 50 pixels, 100 pixels, at 200 pixels, and at 400 pixels maximum dimension.

2. A letter-size (8 1/2" x 11") page PDF with a 6" rendering of the design.

Cost: $15
Cost: $15
Cost: $20

Package A Package B






The GIFs are designed with transparent backgrounds. This allows you to use them in their proper form without the unsightly white or colored frame of a JPEG. The maximum dimension is to allow for some forums and web-groups which have restrictions on the sizes of the avatars they allow; three sizes should be enough to allow for most variations.

At left are full-sized examples of what you can expect at the three principal sizes. Package C includes all six of these and similar treatments with a 400 pixel image.

Note: If you already have either set from Package A or Package B, at any point you can order the companion set from the other package for only $5.00.

What to do

First, you need to know exactly what you want.

These can be a personal "coat of arms" or some other type of armorial device or badge. Although most of my clients are in the SCA, I don't expect all of them to be, so if you want something that "violates" SCA style and practice, I am perfectly willing to provide it.

All you need to to send me an e-mail with a either link to your arms (or badge) online or the blazon. (Unless you have something bizarre like “a left-handed samoyed axehandle interfretted with a codswallop knot” and I need to see it, chances are a simple blazon will suffice. I speak herald). Please don’t send me graphics — especially big ones — without letting me know one is coming.

You will have to choose the shape for the shield/background. Below are the normal shapes. In addition, a plain circle or rectangle are available as standards. If you want something more exotic, please let me know. Shields can also be tilted if you like the rakish look -- but be warned that tilted shields make the shields smaller (given the height restrictions) and more complex designs might not work as well at smaller sizes.

Here is the checklist for your avatar request:
          1. Blazon, plain English description, or link;
          2. Background shape (1-13, circle, or square);
          3. Avatar package (A, B, or C).

Just send me an e-mail with the necessary information, and I’ll send you an e-mail acknowledging the order, and we’ll work out the specifics of time and payment.

If you are interested in a full armorial achievement instead of just a simple "coat of arms," the cost will typically vary between $30 and $50 owing to the extra work required. Larger sized GIFs will also be provided to allow you to display your armorial bearings in all their glory.

Heraldic stationery

I can also produce "masters" for you to print your own stationery. For example, letterheads, business cards, or bookplates.

Once we have finalized a format and design, I will send you a letter-sized, high-resolution PDF with your approved letterhead, and a high-resolution, actual size, GIF of the "block" with your design. You can use the PDF on the computer in a word processing application, or just print it out on a color printer and do what you will. The GIF will allow you to insert the design into word processor or page layout documents if you are using applications that allow external images to be added.

You can have your arms, your name and address, or any combination of them: it is totally up to you. The cost of the finalized letterhead is $25, plus the cost of the armorial element ($15 for simple arms, $30-$50 for a full achievement). If you have already purchased an avatar package with the arms/achievement, this fee is not required again.

The business-cards likewise will be done all formatted and ready for printing. Unless you tell me otherwise, I will assume that you are using standard business cards such as the Avery business card stock for laser printers, and the PDF is laid out for that format. Color printers are best, of course, but they also produce satisfactory graytones.

Armorial mugs, etc.

I drink my coffee out of a mug with my arms on it. Why don't you?

These are 11 oz. ceramic mugs and are dishwasher- and microwave-safe. The mug costs $13 (plus the cost of creating the armorial elements if they have not already been done), plus postage.

You can have your arms on the mug, a design with your arms and your name, or even a household badge. Heck, order a set for the entire household! Discounts are offered for five or more of the same design!

Consider a keepsake box with the armorial design. These boxes are 5 1/2" square, 2 1/4" tall, and wooden, lined in velvet, and faced with a ceramic tile screened with the armorial avatar design. The box is $24 (plus the cost for the armorial design if you haven't ordered before), plus postage.

Other items -- such as mousepads, totebags, aprons, T-shirts, and even wall clocks -- are also available. If you are interested in such an item -- truly one of a kind -- feel free to inquire, and I'll let you know about the cost.

Remember -- armorial widgets make wonderful gifts!

Why did I start doing this?

This really wasn’t anything I had even thought about when I started to do the avatars, but it’s been taking so much time that I seem to have landed on something that I’m reasonably good at, is “niche-like,” and is downright fun.

Moreover, I love heraldry, and I love graphic arts.

After all, you’re proud of your arms and your website. Consider these two graphics of England's Tudor-era arms. Why should you have the image on the left when you can have the image on the right? Let me help you fix that heraldry envy.

And while you're at it, let me provide you with a spiffy mug for your java-juice.

How to pay

You can pay by cash, check, or PayPal. E-mail me for details.

Other design possibilities

In addition to strictly "heraldic" designs, I can also make other graphic elements. Designs such as the “Blue Max” or my own badge of the “Grand Cross of the Order of the Laurel” (my own modern interpretation of the badge of the Order of the Laurel as one of the European Royal Orders, shown at left) aren’t counted among the heraldic avatars, as they tend to take much more work and time. If you want something along those lines, I’ll be more than happy to work with you to come up with something attractive and reasonably priced.

I look forward to working with you!

Free downloads and other projects

I’ve created graphics of the arms of the SCA and the Society’s kingdoms. These are in both flat and textured formats, and in three sizes each (200, 100, and 50 pixels high). They are all freebies and can be downloaded and used by anyone. Consider it a gift to the SCA. Just please drop me a note to let me know you’re using them: I’d like to see how they get used. Click on the arms of the SCA at left to go to the links page. Be warned: it’s very graphics intensive (no surprise!) and may take a while to load.

     I’m working on similar graphics for the office badges as well.

Send me an E-Mail


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