[ANSTHRLD] contrast.

Tim McDaniel tmcd at panix.com
Sun Apr 4 21:56:35 PDT 2004

On Mon, 5 Apr 2004 ravenrux at cox.net <heralds at ansteorra.org> wrote:
> Greetings,
> I've a client who fancies "gyronny azure and sable, an opinicus
> segreant contourny argent."
> Do azure and sable have good heraldic contrast?

The answer to that question is in the Rules for Submission (under
http://sca.org/heraldry).  Part VIII, the armorial style rules, has
it.  But you should not only ask whether azure and sable has good
contrast, but whether gyronny requires good contrast.  (For example,
"per pale" does not.)

2.  Armorial Contrast - All armory must have sufficient contrast to
 allow each element of the design to be clearly identifiable at a

 Each tincture used in Society armory may be depicted in a variety of
 shades.  Therefore, contrast is not determined by the lightness or
 darkness of the tinctures on the submitted emblazon, but by the
 traditional heraldic categorization of tinctures as colors and
 metals.  The colors are azure, gules, purpure, sable, and vert (blue,
 red, purple, black, and green).  Ermined furs or field treatments on
 a background of one of these tinctures are treated as colors for
 contrast in the Society.  The metals are argent and Or (white or
 silver, and yellow or gold).  Ermined furs or field treatments on a
 background of one of those tinctures are treated as metals for
 contrast in the Society.  Furs equally divided of light and dark
 pieces, such as vair, are classed with other evenly divided elements,
 such as paly, per bend, or lozengy.

a.   Contrasting Tinctures - Good contrast exists between:

i.   A metal and a color;

ii.  An element equally divided of a color and a metal, and any other
     element as long as identifiability is maintained;

iii.  A color and a charge, blazoned as proper, that is predominantly

iv.  A metal and a charge, blazoned as proper, that is predominantly

b.   Contrast Requirements

i.  The field must have good contrast with every charge placed
 directly on it and with charges placed overall.

 For example, "a pale vair between two owls Or" might be placed on a
 field gules, but not a field ermine because the owls would not have
 good contrast.  Similarly, a field vert with a fess Or contrasts with
 a wolf rampant overall that is argent or ermine, but not a wolf that
 is gules or sable.

ii.   A charge must have good contrast with any charge placed wholly on it.

 For example, a tree placed on a pale azure could be Or, argent, or
 ermine, but could not be pean or proper.

iii.   Elements evenly divided into two parts, per saltire, or quarterly may
 use any two tinctures or furs.

 For example, a field quarterly could be composed of azure and gules,
 argent and Or, Or and ermine, or vert and vairy gules and argent.

iv.  Elements evenly divided into multiple parts of two different
 tinctures must have good contrast between their parts.

 For example, "checky argent and gules" is acceptable, but "checky
 azure and gules" is not.

v.  Elements evenly divided in three tinctures must have good contrast
 between two of their parts.

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