Dan McCabe


Experiment #1 / Quite an Achievement

Initial research undertaken was concerned with developing an expert working knowledge of the origins and development of heraldry. This required a blended research approach that included analysing a broad range of historical references and making a series of planned visits. The aim here was to understand how heraldry had developed beyond the duties of an individual (i.e the herald) and formed into a widespread visually regulated, systematised language. Perhaps the most challenging task at this stage was to try and understand how to decode and make sense of the elements contained within this system. Much of the source material that attempts to make clear what the elements contained within of a coat of arms are, often does so in a painfully dry and convoluted way. There are also several discrepancies between the ways experts refer to the key components, which can lead to some confusion as to what the right terms actually are. The answer it seemed at this stage was to create a simplified diagram that clearly communicated the most commonly used terms. The result is a modern interpretation of an achievement that visually clarifies the nature and relationship of the key elements.