Oct 272013
Coat Of Arms Tattoo Header Image

The McGinnis Family Coat Of Arms Tattoo

A Coat Of Arms or Family Crest is designed to represent a families values and identity. This goes hand in hand with our tattoo design service and is a reason we love creating Coat Of Arms Tattoos and Family Crest Designs. While the aim of most of our tattoo designs are to look at a customers ideas and turn them into an awesome looking tattoo design. Things are a bit more tricky when it comes to creating a Coat Of Arms tattoo design.


I am wanting to get my family crest redesigned to look more current while maintaining the integrity of the original design.

To Design A Coat Of Arms

There are many different sections to a full Coat Of Arms, from the Mantle or Shield to the Helmet and Crest. A lot of these sections actually have a meaning in the way they are portrayed, for example the way the Helm or Helmet faced represented the bearers rank. When redesigning A Coat Of Arms it is sections like this that, although can be changed to an extent, messing with them too much would change the identity and meaning of the design. This meant I needed to do a lot of research into the history of the McGinnis Family Coat Of Arms before starting the tattoo design. My customer pointed me to the McGinnis Family Coat Of Arms page for an interesting history behind the original design.

How to Create A Coat Of Arms Tattoo Design

Making Large Changes

While many parts of a custom Coat Of Arms should not be changed, this is after all a custom tattoo design, so the aesthetic qualities of the final drawing are important. The Boar is a common charge in heraldry and family crests representing courage and fierceness in battle. My customer though was not happy with how the boar fitted into the design and suggested using just the boars tusks as a representation.

The boar tusks are too large in comparison to the deer antlers. Could you try the tusks much smaller.

This resulted in a lot of back and forth regarding the size, orientation and shape of boars tusks. Unfortunately I don’t know much about Boars and Stags but luckily my customer gave me a lot of good feedback to get the Stag’s antlers and Boars tusks just perfect in size and relation to the rest of the design.

Creating A Heraldic Coat Of Arms Tattoo Design

We are amazingly close and I’m getting excited. Now if I can just talk my wife into letting me get this. Didn’t tell you that part.

Coat Of Arms Tattoo Design Family Quote

Tattoo Font

I have been asked a few times how I do the text in these tattoo designs. The font used in this design is called ‘Kingthings Calligraphica’ from Font Squirrel, a great site for designers and artists alike where all the fonts are 100% free for commercial use. I then take a photo of my drawing and use Adobe Illustrators awesome type on a path tool to line up the text perfectly with the rest of the design.

Coat Of Arms Tattoo Design Mantle

Designing The Mantle

Creating the mantle was easily the most enjoyable part of designing this Coat Of Arms Tattoo. Throughout the history of Coats Of Arms the mantle has been left to the heralds or artists preference for extravagance and I really decided to pull out all the stops when putting the mantle together.

The heraldic mantle (leafy stuff around the shield) is not the same on either side. Where the mantle folds forward on the right it is generally folding back on the left or vice versa. Although they are different on both sides they still line up meaning to look at a silhouette it would still look symmetrical.

Family Coat Of Arms Tattoo Design from Dark Design Graphics

You’ve done a great job and I think what you created looks amazing. More excited about this than Christmas.

Coat Of Arms Tattoo Design From Dark Design Graphics

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  2 Responses to “Family Coat Of Arms Tattoo Design”

  1. Alasdair, this is simply amazing to watch. Nothing better than to see a true artists vision at work and watching it step by step unfold and come to life!

    I am looking at getting my family coat of arms designed and would be honoured if you were able to design something for me. I have sent you an email with some details of what Im after and sincerlely hope to hear from you. I can only imagine a man with a talent such as yours that you are a very busy man! 😀

  2. hello!! my family herald is AGUILAR. You make a draw same this, but drawing whit a eagle instead of the lion?? please send me a email details. thanks.

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