Abracadabra Emblem Challenge 1 - Verbal, Descriptive and Visual - with Awards

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Original poster

Family Emblem


In this challenge, the objective is to invent a family emblem that represents the family's values and beliefs. There are three parts to this challenge, and you can choose one, two or all (blue is a writing challenge, red is a visual challenge). There are no winners, losers or prizes, but there are awards that are given to the participants who have invested a lot of thought, effort or skill in the challenge. These awards can be posted on their profile or in their siggie if they like, but they are more decorative since they possess no material value.

I: Verbal Challenge
Write about the standards and principles of the family that are represented in the emblem. You may even invent example family members to show what the family is like.

II: Descriptive Challenge
Describe a family emblem in words. Try to use illustrative vocabulary and evoke some of the meaning behind the symbols, colors and shapes on the emblem that hint to the nature of its family.

III: Visual Challenge
With the link provided, make your own banner. Then, post the image and optionally list the symbols on it and/or what they mean. I know that the Make Your Own tool I provide is limited – that is part of the challenge, to be as creative as possible with below-average mate


1 – If any of these rules confuse you, or if you are unsure the content you intend to submit (or have submitted) is breaking a rule, post here or message me privately about it. The purpose of these rules is not to punish you, it's to make sure the environment stays respectful and fair so all participants can have as much fun as possible.

2 – Your emblem should not be offensive. While it may include violent or
sexual themes, derogatory content will not be tolerated.

3 – The families can be themed fantasy, sci-fi, modern, horror, and anything else you can think of!

4 – Your submitted content must be original and of your own imagination. If your ideas are based on someone else's (such as a popular author or another Iwaku roleplayer), please credit them. Anyone caught plagiarizing will be disqualified from all current and future Abracadabra Contests, as well as earning a place in the Abracadabra Challenge Hall of Shame. There are no excuses.

5 – If you choose the third Challenge, you must design the emblem with the link provided. You may supplement your own self-made emblem or show a different credited example from the internet, but only in addition to the link-made emblem. This rule is established to give everyone an equal starting platform, since it is not necessarily based solely on someone's artistic talent.

6 – One emblem per user, please, but a user can enter different emblems in separate Challenges.


Write about the standards and principles of the family that are represented in the emblem. You may even invent example family members to show what the family is like.

Some content suggestions...
• explain symbols on the emblem
• describe example family members
• come up with a family name
• invent a family motto
• include a quote
• add a warcry
• create imaginary feuds & alliances with other imaginary families
• describe family history
• family religious beliefs
• aggressive or peaceful
• curses?
• pets?
• is the family exclusive for one fantasy race
• how was the family founded
• what kind of country/territory the family lives in
• size of the family


Describe a family emblem in words as a neutral observer would see it. Try to use illustrative vocabulary and evoke some of the meaning behind the symbols, colors and shapes on the emblem that hint to the nature of its family.

This helpful link provides some great and very useful examples of symbolism. Thank you Sakura for the contribution!

Some content suggestions...
• describe the shape and size of the emblem
• emblem design: old-fashioned or modern
• are the symbols stylized
• does your emblem depict only plants/only animals/only people
• is your emblem abstract
• does your emblem tell a story
• is the emblem clean, dirty, blood-stained?
• is the emblem imbued with magic or cursed?
• include any writing/inscription on the emblem
• is said writing in a comprehensive language
• if not, is the writing foreign/encrypted/nonsense/possibly name/s
• if there is writing, is it in a special font (Lucida Blackletter, Zapfino)
• what the emblem is made of (cracked wood, valuable metals)


With the link provided, make your own banner. Then, post the image and optionally list the symbols on it and/or what they mean. I know that the Make Your Own banner tool I provide is limited – that is part of the challenge, to be as creative as possible with below-average material. You may make a screenshot and edit the emblem in Photoshop if you want more of a color range. Please read Rule #5.

Here is the link.

Some content suggestions...
• shape and size of emblem
• color scheme
• give a one-or-two-word explanation of the symbol's meaning (Dragon - Freedom)
• explain whether the symbols really do represent their meaning in some cultures, or if you invented the correlation, and if so why
• is there a color gradient, or is it solid, or is there a pattern
• is the color a background picture
• theme? (Africa, literature, food, Michael Jackson, Tolkien fantasy, pink)
• evidence of magic? (glow, on fire)
• include any inscriptions
• is there a background behind the emblem
• mention historical background


There are five possible awards. Each individual user may not receive more than 1 award. However, Honorable Mentions will be given to runners-up, and a user can receive Honorable Mention in all categories.

Award winners will receive an image with the words "[name here] Award" and their username on it somewhere that they can post anywhere they like – in or out of Iwaku, from their siggie to their profile. Also they will be placed in the Abracadabra Challenge Hall of Fame, as will Honorable Mentions.

If your entry is geared towards a specific award, feel free to mention this in your submission. If you would not like to win a specific award, please mention this also so that all award winners are people who actually wanted the award.

> Flexibility Award - participant whose content is notably diverse

> Talent Award - significantly skilled participant, esp. artistically

> Effort Award - participant whose content displays remarkable effort and originality

> Theme Award - participant whose content is conspicuously loyal to one theme, which may be mentioned in content

> Culture Award - participant whose content adheres to and/or is distinctly based on real emblems and emblem symbolism throughout history; it is highly recommended that if you want this award you mention that you have done this in your submission, and what element of emblem history you've based it on (ancient China, modern horror video game)


Have fun! Can't wait to see some awesome, brave people try their hand at this Challenge!



Original poster
I really went overboard, but I hope you enjoy it!
Also, I just want to commend the immense effort, organization, creativity, and thought you put into this challenge!

I haven't worked on a coat of arms since middle school, I think. I felt nostalgic all of a sudden.
I think I'll go search through my dad's folders of my school projects and find my original coat of arms and do some comparison.
Although, I get the feeling not much has changed about me since then!

I have to say thank you! I really enjoyed this! It was like I was in some kind of dream state while I was doing it ,D




We begin with the base shield.
The color I chose was a bluegreen hue, leaning towards more of the green. Green represents hope, joy, and loyalty in love, while Blue represents truth and loyalty chose this color in particular because the driving force behind nearly everything I do is hope for a better tomorrow, not just for myself, but for everyone that I love.

Surrounding the base shield.
Acacia Leaves symbolize eternal and affectionate remembrance. These leaves aren't exactly acacia, but there was no other shield with leaves, so let's assume this is the artists' rendition of the popular leaves. The ribbon reflects a constancy that will always become something new, something better. I was glad that ribbon was blue, in it's representation of truth, and the leaves, which are usually green are yellow were also interesting. The golden/yellow leaves instead of the green ones, represent more than just affectionate remembrance, but also elevation of the mind, the leaves of a seeker of knowledge.

The motto.
The full statement was "I'll definitely be all right", but the character limit was 20 characters. Sad irony. It's the invincible spell from Card Captor Sakura, my namesake. It's been a while since I used it, but back in the days, when I really needed a boost of morale, I'd pretend I was her, pump my fist into the air and say it out loud. "I'll definitely be all right!" and I would feel invincible.

The name logo.
It says SAKURA, which is self-explanatory. The choice of the name scroll was depended on the edges. It's styled with something similar to the Raguly Line. Albeit they're not exact replicas, but it comes close enough. The Raguly Line symbolizes difficulties that have been encountered, something I find inspiring, but realistic. "To become Sakura", in a way, to become who I am today, I have passed the Raguly Lines of this name scroll and overcome those difficulties.

The Arms.
Finally, my favorite part. This will require a bit of imagination on your part, as well. Be prepared to squint and see what I see and not what's really pictured there. The first armament is the white flower, which I would like to title as the Angelica flower, a symbolism of inspiration. The next, another flower, is meant to be a Poppy flower, representing hope and joy, imagination and dreamliness. I honestly feel that these two symbolisms represent me as a whole. I am inspired by nearly everything, and everyone, too! And hope, joy, imagination, these are the things I most often see myself doing. And "dreamliness", though it not a real word, it has a sense of beauty to it, a sense of playfulness that I would like to have. The next image is that of a Sun, meaning glory and splendor, the love of life. The brightness of being someone who is loved, and being someone who loves and spreads joy, that is the kind of person I want to be. A person with their own light, a person who gives that light to others and gives them shine. And finally, the final flower/plant is supposed to be Baby's Breath, a flower that symbolizes purity and innocence. Now that I am in college, people are always trying to corrupt my mind with their rationalizations about certain aspects of our culture. I believe that everyone has the right to choose things like whether they want to curse or whether they want to know about and make jokes about mature things. I am still very much a child at heart, and although I went through health education at school, there are still things that I don't want to make jokes out of, or words that I don't want to say. I don't mind if my friends make dirty jokes or laugh at them. If I understand one, I will laugh, too, but I don't want to go out of my way to pollute my own mind. And I most certainly do not want to curse. Once in a while, I pick up certain curses from the people around me, and though I might say them occasionally or frequently (depending on when and how it came about), every time I say one, I hold my breath and mentally reprimand myself. It's not that I want to be perfect. It's that I want to remain the way I am in terms of these things. I don't need to know all the perverted things in the world or say all the curses. I'm fine with being "innocent", it is the way I want to be. People say it like a bad thing, but it is a part of me. And as such, it is the integral part of my coat of arms.


It's a family of two, a father & his daughter. Life has it's struggles and they have learned to be patient and persevere.
The father is a veteran world traveler, a scientist who has studied blood-related diseases and worked in various hospitals across the world. He feels as if he has seen it all, from impoverished African children whom he taught English, the prim and proper Englishmen he grew up with, or the high-rising skyscrapers and money-making business tycoons he lives close to now. He is a hardworking individual, always firm in his belief in honesty, goodwill, and individual strength. His best advice to his daughter is to pass through people's lives in a way that they may remember a cool, comforting breeze, or a warmth, or a feeling that brings them a serene sort of joy. He is old now, and as the years slip by, he only continues to learn more, expand his knowledge, and teach others. Such is a true professor.

The daughter is a young, bright-eyed child, eager to see the world, eager to meet the people of the world. She, like her father, is an individual of sincerity and joy. She has an energetic demeanor and an enthusiasm that can motivate even the dullest of people to open their eyes and smell the roses. She wants to live a beautiful life and imagines all the possibilities of the things she can do and people she can help and the difficulties she can change. But what makes her different from her father and his calm persona, is emotion. She is expressive. She cries, laughs, loves, hopes, and wishes easily and without second thought. Her heart can be moved with only just words, and she is naive.

This coat of arms represents her more than it does her father, for in a way, she is the new generation of her father's personality and virtues. She has taken his words to heart and given them a new life, a new vigor, an energy and emotion that he, as a young man, who created his own life, with his own two hands and molded his own future, did not have the freedom to dream so expansively. But it is not to say he did not dream, for he did, he dreamed so vastly and so wondrously that she, his daughter would not be here if it were not for his passion and determination to follow his dreams across oceans. And as such, it is originally his coat of arms, but her rendition. It represents her and what she has become, thanks to her father's love.
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Original poster
Wow, this is an amazing entry! I'm glad you enjoyed my Challenge so much, that was the purpose! This is such an inspiring and thoughtful piece of work; the attention to symbolism and the intimate personal connection was thought-provoking and heart-warming! Also, thanks to you I've got several useful links to add to my original post now! Thanks again, congratulations on this awesome contribution.