Composing Arms

How do I compose a new Coat of Arms?

All individuals, families, organizations, municipalities, governmental institutions, companies or any ohther corps who want to assume a new Coat of Arms, are very welcome to contact me for composing a new Arms. I love composing Arms!

It could help if you have some ideas about what the new Arms should contain, or better about what do you want to have in your Arms. If not, please name all the ideas, symbols, subjects and objects that represent your personality/family/company or all the symbols and objects that you for any reason would like to have ino your arms.

After receiving of all your thoughts and desires, I start to work with the composition. My job is to put all the Armiger’s desires into a picture that is made in accordance with the rules of Heraldry. In most of cases the Armiger is forced to accept the fact that only few most important ideas, symbols and messages can be represented in the Arms. Otherwise the Arms could be so “Heavy that no Knight is able to lift either the shield or the helmet”. Great Swedish heraldist Arvid Bergman wrote that the Arms should be a simple and unque symbol of persons/families/corporations, not their self-declaration.

The Armiger must also accept that anything at all cannot be put into a Coat of Arms. Well, almost anything could be found in an Arms but modern objects for example cannot be painted on a medieval shield or put on a medieval helmet.

What would a medieval Knight believe if he would see a modern jet fighter on someone’s shield? He would, of course, interpret the pictures on the basis of his own experiences!

When my work with composition is finished, the armiger receives one, two or three drafts of the future Arms, together with an explanation of the symbols that has been chosen in the drafts. The Armiger has an opportunity to choose the future arms.

Fredenklo-4-20Fredenklo-3-20 Fredenklo-2-20

When the Armiger has chosen his favourite draft, we discuss the tinctures (colours) of the future Arms.

 Fredenklo-2-20  Fredenklo-1-20

Sometimes, additional corrections are necessary in order to achieve the optimal composition. The Arms are to represent the family for very long time and the Armiger has to feel that the chosen composition is best possible.


When the Armiger has chosen the final solution, I send the actual draft to two colleagues heraldists at least. They control that the composition is unique and composed in accordance to heraldic rules. My compositions are, of course, always correct. But it is always good to receive comments from other, well-experienced colleagues. At least, it is nice to hear that they like the composition.

When both of my colleagues heraldists confirm that the Arms is unique and correct, I contact the Armiger and congratulate him/her/them for assuming the new Coat of Arms.

Now I can start with the final painting of the Arms. Description of that process could be found in the Article ”How do I paint Coats of Arms?”


The goal and the ambition of all my efforts is the letter from the Armiger in which he/she writes: Thank you for the wonderful Coat of Arms!

For, everybody, just like myself, wants to have best possible Arms.

Copyright © Davor Zovko

All rights reserved


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