Thursday, January 23, 2014

"Heraldry Is Alive and Kicking Within 21st Century British Society"

So says Dan McCabe, who recently completed his Masters study in Graphic Design at the London College of Communication, achieving a Distinction for his work.

He had created an experiment whose purpose was "to find a way to use graphic design to engage the public in the subject of heraldry and challenge issues related to societal perceptions and misconceptions of quasi-heraldry."

Dan had run across me on the internet and I had helped him with a brief introduction to the language of heraldry, blazon, as well as my thoughts on the difference between "traditional/'authentic" heraldry, and designs that are deemed as being "quasi-heraldry."  I like to think that I gave him some solid information in addition to my personal opinions, and that all that was able to help him focus his work the way he wanted to.  (Naturally enough, I don't believe that I was the only heraldry enthusiast that he contacted with his questions.  I'm sure he got a lot of input from a lot of sources.  But it's nice to think that I was approached, too.)

You can find out for yourself by visiting his project on-line.  You can begin at Experiment No. 1, Quite an Achievement  (, or at Experiment No. 11, A Call to Arms (, or any of the others.  (My personal favorite, I think, is No. 9, "These Arms of Mine," as much for the poster as for the text accompanying it.)

The key premise of all eleven of these experiments is that he is "looking at the subject of heraldry through the lens of graphic design, and attempting to generate societal interest and understanding of the subject."

I found his work an interesting take on heraldry through the eyes of a graphic designer without a background in heraldry but with an interest in seeing how the heraldic "vocabulary" could be integrated into and inform other works.  See what you think, and if you like it, let him know!  (His email address can be found on each page of his experiments.)

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