Counter-Print's latest Modern Heraldry is a book featuring seals, stamps, crests and shields

Counter-Print has released its second edition of Modern Heraldry, a book featuring trademarks based on heraldic symbology from all over the world including crests, shields, crowns and flags.

"The starting point for this series was the observation that many present-day marks still draw upon traditional symbols such as the heraldic mark or logos that share its characteristics," says Jon Dowling, co-founder of Counter-Print. "In volume one, we were particularly interested in visually exploring the juxtaposition between a historic art form and its modern interpretation and this book is a continuation of this visual documentation."

He adds: "Five years on from the first volume, the popularity of heraldry, it seems, has not diminished. Audiences perhaps respond well to nostalgia, with many designers keen to capture the visual romance and history of a brand or convey craftsmanship. Present-day companies still often use heraldry as a means of corporate identity. From banks, train lines, schools and churches to universities, football clubs and societies – heraldry is still a potent modern symbol."

Quite an interesting development is that the heraldic mark very rarely derives from the founder's family crest and is much more commonly used to convey a sense of "respectability or authenticity" for a commercial venture.

"Historically, a coat of arms was a unique heraldic design on a shield, used by medieval knights to identify the wearer," Jon continues. "A knight's battle armour was prestigious and conveyed his achievements, so the coat of arms evolved into a status symbol that provided insight into family history, property, profession or occupation.

"There were many imaginative variations and combinations in every crest design that identified the particular carrier or owner of that crest. Each symbol was chosen for its meaning. Flowers had connotations surrounding hope and joy, while fruit signified bounty and peace. Animals were frequently used, usually in positions of combat, and the animals chosen were ferocious-looking or represented positive traits such as wisdom, resourcefulness and loyalty."

The logo designs within this new book are grouped under category headings chosen for their heraldic connotations. The categories included are shields, crests, stamps, seals, laurels, flags and crowns – considered to be the most popular in contemporary heraldic designs. You can grab a copy at


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