The Rampantness

Heraldry is the description and decoration of coats of arms and armorial bearings. This blog post will describe a popular figure in heraldry as well as a source of inspiration for many logos, including the Magnet Cat logo at the top of this blog.

The Royal Standard of Scotland, pictured above, is otherwise known as the Lion Rampant ('rampant' meaning 'upright' in heraldry-speak). The rampant lion figure has been used in countless variations in countries as diverse as Bulgaria and Jerusalem, where the figure takes the form of The Lion of Judah on the municipal emblem of Jerusalem.

In Scotland, the Lion Rampant flag may have been used as early as the 12th century by William I ("William the Lion"). Today this banner is used as an unofficial second national flag of Scotland (The red lion rampant on a yellow shield also features on the badges of both the Scottish Football Association and the Scotland national football team). I lived in Scotland for a year while studying English literature at the University of Stirling and became rather fond of the flag.

Animals and creatures in the 'rampant' position have been used in all manner of emblems and logos over the centuries, so it's refreshing to see something usual. I tried to provide the Magnet Cat with something new by greatly reducing his angular shapes and having him wield magnetic force. Another one of my favorites is the winged rampant dragon of Swiss chocolatier Lindt (complete with its strange floating bannered crown). Logos this ornate are rarely seen in an age where reduction and neutrality are the dominant trends in logo design, but in this case, I love the decorative, illustrative line work. They say the lion is the king of the beasts, but this dragon would scorch any lion with its chocolatey fire breath.

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