A family crest or coat of arms is a shield created specifically for an individual. Through the years many family crests were handed down through the male lineage of the family from one generation to the next. Each crest is different, containing symbols, colours and mottoes, specific to the merits and values of the individual it was created for. Nowadays a coat of arms may be used by the entire family. While some companies charge for the creation of a family crest, there are ways to create your own for free.
Use a website that offers free software to design your family crest. Some examples of these are makeyourcoatofarms.com, tonbridgecastle.org and myblazon.com.
Click "create" or other similar option.
Choose the shape of your crest.
Choose the colours for your crest.
Choose the symbols for your crest.
Choose a motto for your crest.
Enter your family name or motto.
Click "finish" to complete your crest. Most sites give you an option to save the crest or to print it.
Draw a shield in the shape of your choice. Divide the shield into four sections. Draw a different symbol in each section to represent the merits or qualities of yourself or your family.
Draw a ribbon below the shield. You can place your family name there or a motto that represents your family. This can be in English or in your family's native language. Many people choose mottoes in Latin.
Draw a crown or helmet above the shield to represent your family's position. This can represent royalty or a profession that has meaning to your family.
Draw supporters on either side of the shield, facing inward. These can be lions, knights or other animals or people of your choice.
Colour the various segments and symbols of your crest. Look up the meanings of different colours and what they represent, e.g., white for purity, red for passion and purple for royalty.
Feel free to get as creative as possible and make your family crest a reflection of you. Use books, websites and other resources to get ideas for your crest.