An Overview of the Heraldic Submission Process

People seeking to register a name or armory with the SCA’s College of Arms are often baffled by the length of time the process takes and the inscrutable jargon used to describe the various stages.

There have been numerous attempts to provide an overview of this process, to which I have now added my own contribution below.

Some of the terminology here reflects current usage in the East Kingdom; in other places the ILoI may be called an LoP, the LoD may be called an LoR or ILoAR, and the LoI may be called an ELoI or KLoI.

Likewise the timelines maybe slightly different in other kingdoms, as each kingdom’s commentary process is run on its own calendar. (And few kingdoms have the same backlog of submissions after Pennsic to cause slower processing in the fall months.)

This diagram is also available as a printable PDF.

Heraldic Tincture Hexcodes

Any set of colors can be used as heraldic tinctures if they can be interpreted easily and unambiguously.

Below are examples of color palettes I’ve used for pieces of armory. (Click for a larger image, or download a printable PDF with additional examples.)

The only one of these that’s special is the set of colors used for OSCAR’s color correction; when submitting images, it make things easier if colors are close enough to these that they’re not transformed incorrectly.

When armory images are uploaded to OSCAR, color-corrected thumbnails are generated which convert each area of color to one of the nine standard tinctures shown in dashed circles below. Solid outlines delimit the range of colors that are converted to each of those targets.

(Click for a larger image, or download a printable PDF.)

While the color-correction process usually goes smoothly, there are a few things to watch out for:

  • Warm golds (containing more red than green) can end up being rendered as orange or brown.
  • Warm browns can develop streaks or splotches of red.
  • Blues and purples can become ambiguous if either of them comes too close to the violet boundary.
  • Although not apparent on this chart, fine-line details like black outlines around an argent charge in a fieldless badge can disappear entirely.

Many thanks to Elena Wyth for the experimentation which allowed these OSCAR ranges to be estimated.