Symbols and Signs

Within my kit I want to create a a stencil which will include a number of symbols users can use to represent themselves and their personality. I’ve been looking to draw inspiration from a number of sources. I want the the symbols to be timeless and easily read. They should be inter generational so they can easily and quickly portray a message.

Family Crests & Coat of Arms

Traditionally Coats of Arms have been used to represent a family. Colours and symbols are used to illustrate a families values and achievements and were originally used to identify warriors dressed in armour.


Colours, images and symbols are all used to convey a message, for example, flowers are used to signify hope and joy and fruit signifies felicity and peace. Animals tend to be show in traditional poses and generally made to look vicious and represent the family traits such as wisdom, resourcefulness and loyalty (Genes Reunited, 2013) Although family crests may now been seen as redundant I do feel imagery can be successfully be used to show the beliefs and  personality of groups of people. Also the users of my kit can design their own family/friendship crest.

Star Signs

Many people believe star signs can be used to represent their personalities and predict their fate. Zodiac signs can be used to show when you were born in the zodiac calendar as well as the unique traits that provides.



Many people use tattoos to represent themselves to the world, a true form of self expression and creativity.  There are numerous reasons why someone would get a tattoo and common themes include self-empowerment, identification with a group, memorialization and the transformation of pain into beauty (Bus & Hodges, 2017).  For example within youth culture a tattoo of a semi colon has come to represent mental health struggles and the importance of suicide prevention.  It is used to signify strength and love and acts as a reminder of the wearers struggle, victory, and survival. (Willward, 2015) In a similar way tattoos can also be used as a way to associate people with gangs, tribes or social groups. They allow people to create a persona and portray a carefully curated personality to the general public.


Other signs and symbols people may use to themselves with include brands, sports teams,  emojis and logos.


Bus, L  & Hodge, K (2017)  Marked: Tattoo as an Expression of PsychePsychological Perspectives Vol 60. 10th March 2017.

Willward, L (2015) Have you seen anyone with a semicolon tattoo? Here’s what it’s about. Upworthy [Online] 7th July 2015 [Date Accessed 19th April 2017]

Family Trees And Crests (2017) Heraldry symbols and their meanings [Online] [Date Accessed 20th April 2017]

Genes Reunited (2013)What the symbols on coats of arms, family crests and seals mean [Online] [Date Accessed 20th April 2017],-family-crests-and-seals-mean



Figure 1: The colours of family crests and their meanings. Family Trees And Crests (2017) Heraldry symbols and their meanings [Online] [Date Accessed 20th April 2017]

Figure 2: The Zodiac alphabet. Pinterest (2017) [Online] [Date Accessed 20th April 2017]

Figure 3: Semicolon tattoo. Upworthy (2015) [Date Accessed 19th April 2017]


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