It is a solemn matter to appoint a Herald to your household, for he will be with you, assuming your need for him continues, forever after. His presence alone can turn a simple sandwich into a solemn banquet. Never take a Herald on a picnic. (The Book of Weird)
I'm an Academic Herald. I'm not a "real" herald; I don't register people's coats of arms (though I can certainly suggest designs for those who might be interested). What I do is study, research, teach, and write about heraldry. And I like to share what I have learned about heraldry, hence this blog. I hope that you'll find it informative, interesting at least occasionally, and worth your time to come back. Got a question? Comments? Feel free to let me know. I'd love to hear from you. You can find my contact information in my Profile.
One of the many uses of heraldry, and one which goes back literally for centuries, is the application of an heraldic element for use as a trade, or even inn, sign.
This ancient (well, to we folks in the United States, anyway*) usage can still be seen in modern use today.
For example, there was this little sign over a shop in old Canterbury:
It's not quite an heraldic crest; it's on a hill or mound instead of a torse or wreath, but still ....
It is, of course, a crabapple tree, and marks the shop of Crabtree & Evelyn on Burgate Street in Canterbury. So this sign has not only the advantage of being nearly heraldry, it is canting near-heraldry. (Canting heraldry is heraldry that is a pun on the name; examples include the bird bolts in the arms of Bolton, a bow in the arms of Boven, bird wings in the arms of Wingfield, and so on.)
Of course, as an Appleton, I found it especially attractive. So be it.
* It has been remarked that the difference between Europeans and Americans is that Europeans think that a hundred kilometers is a long way, and Americans think that a hundred years is a long time.