I will also say that when I say heraldry I am conflating it with banners for wargaming purposes. So you want to make a banner/ heraldic symbol? What better way than to reference actual symbols. My first stop is usually Wikimedia Commons, search term Heraldry. Heraldry.ws is another good resource. For banners I like Warflag, Fanaticus, Grimsby Wargamers Society,and of course Dansk Figursspilsforening. I could go on but here are the basics.
So I now have culled through a bunch of stuff and have plenty of ideas of real or speculative designs. Next I need to think about the back ground of my Lord or nation and start throwing around the various bits that make up a heraldic device. One thing I found in researching this article is something I don't recall encountering before. There are a few sites that describe the individual meaning of the various parts of a coat of arms. The aptly named Heraldry Symbols and The Meaning Behind the Symbols - Fleur-de-lis Designs. So now I can also think about what I want to say about the individual that this CoA represents.
My method usually involves a rough sketch with colored pencils. (Please forgive my drawing, I'm a terrible artist.)
|These were for my Linlandia map project.|
My method was to take some heraldic gifs I found out on the interwebs and use inkskape to trace them and convert them to vector images. I think I mostly made pngs because my svg file associations were weird. So by way of example, I came up with this for one of the Chaos coastal cities. I assembled the parts in GIMP, although I could have continued with Inkscape.
|I kept it clear for the project|
So as you can see it is chaosy with a ship to show it's status as a port. Maybe they are pirates? I don't know.
|The final product made to look hand painted.|
Does this differ much from your workflow? Anyhow in the next installment I will show how I am working out using these methods for the Talomir Tales campaign.