Gradient Treatments

In heraldry, a treatment is a regular, repeating pattern of two plain colours. For your viewing pleasure we present the following extension, which allows us to use gradients of two colours instead.


This extension adds the following (very non-standard!) terms to the list of supported treatments:

  • grady in fess [colour] and [colour] - A gradual transition from left to right
  • grady in pale [colour] and [colour] - A gradual transition from top to bottom
  • grady in bend [colour] and [colour] - A gradual transition from top left to bottom right
  • grady in bend sinister [colour] and [colour] - A gradual transition from top right to bottom left
  • grady in annulo [colour] and [colour] - A gradual transition from the outer edge to the inside

graded is a synonym for grady, and in common with other treatments, the first colour may come before the treatment name (e.g. azure grady in pale argent).

Grady on Major Ordinaries

For the sake of brevity, with the major ordinaries such as fess, pale, bend etc. you can just the construction grady [colour] and [colour] and the gradient will follow the direction of the ordinary. If this is not the behaviour that you want then you can still specify the gradient direction, for example a pale grady in fess gules and or.

You can actually use grady [colour] and [colour] anywhere, and if it is NOT used on an ordinary then it will take the default valued of grady in pale, however users are discouraged from taking advantage of this construction. Unless you are shading a major ordinary then I recommend always using a specific direction for clarity.

Grady of a Single Colour

Heraldry has a rather limited palette of colours so it might be difficult to get a pair of colours to create a pleasing gradient. For this reason, you can also specify grady [direction] [colour], in which a gradient will be created that runs from a lighter shade of the given colour to a darker shade, in the given direction. The actual colour will be the middle value. You can also use grady [direction] inverted [colour] to make the gradient run from a darker shade to a lighter shade in the given direction.


These gradients work best on large simple shapes, such as the field, major ordinaries and simple geometric charges. They do not work as intended on charges made up of many individual parts (such as lions) but the effect is not displeasing - try it out!

I am very grateful to Luke B. for inspiring this extension.

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