DrawShield is a set of tools for drawing heraldry. Unlike most graphical tools, where you place or draw objects on a canvas, in DrawShield you describe in words what you want to create and the program draws and creates objects for you.

The words are written in a language known as Blazon, which is an ancient language with a mixture of English, Latin and anglicised French words. Most books on Heraldry will tell about the language of Blazon, the pages here will tell you about Blazon as it is used in DrawShield.

Getting Started

Heraldry is a fascinating subject but can be difficult to get started, especially in the understanding and using of the language of Blazon.

DrawShield offers several ways to get started, and you can follow whichever most suits you, or combine more than one of these approaches.

Firstly, we have a You Tube channel which includes an introductory video. It is a little out of date in places, the documentation here reflects the current state.

The information here is intended to work both as a tutorial and a reference. It begins with some basic topics and works towards more complex features. Some pages includes a "Usage" section giving examples of use, and there are also sections from the "Herald's Notebook" providing interesting observations and snippets of the herald's knowledge.

If you are impatient to simply start creating some simple shields then use the Build From Parts page. This allows you to create a blazon and the corresponding shield image just be clicking on options. Although it is tempting just to "click and create" you will gain much more if you carefully study how each part is represented in the blazon text and you will be able to transfer this knowledge to the from a blazon page where the full power of DrawShield becomes available.

And don't forget the Gallery Page - all the blazons are available for every gallery entry so if you find a coat of arms that you like you can look at the blazon to see how it has been created.

And if you get stuck or need some extra help then try sending a message on the Contact Page


In the following pages every word that DrawShield can recognise is shown like this. The program can also recognise variant spellings and alternative terms (e.g. fess and fesse but I have not listed all of these. Short examples of the language of blazonry are given in in this form, while complete blazons are shown as block quotations.

There are two styles of commentary section. Some pages may contain "Herald's Notes". These are observations on aspects of Heraldry or blazonry that might be of interest. Separately, some of the pages incude a section called "Notes". These are largely about the actual implementation of DrawShield , for example limitations on things that can be shown or assumptions that have had to be made to allow the program to work.


On larger screens there is a collapsible navigation menu to the left, alternatively there is a list of top level pages below:

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