ec5

Croatian Flag / Coat of Arms Concept

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Made a few alterations to the Croatian flag and coat of arms.  Let me know what you think. @OliverP it would be nice to get your thoughts as well, though I know you'd probably like something more innovative, while this is more traditional.

 

General description: The Croatian coat of arms is made up of a checkered shield.  The crown over the shield is made up of 5 historical/regional shields.  All on a Slavic tri-colour.  The flag and coat of arms was made official in 1990, just as the country was becoming independent of Yugoslavia.  

 

Current Flag / Coat of Arms:

 

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Issues I wanted to change:

  1. Some of the shields on the crown were changed from their historical versions (either simplified or colour was changed) for design reasons.  I wanted to take them back closer to the historical versions.
  2. The crown is often criticized in heraldic circles due to the arc, the alternating background colours, and the red outline.  My goal is to simplify it, while keeping the creativity of incorporating these 5 shields.
  3. I always felt the arced crown along with the shield breaking the bottom blue bar of the flag made it look like the shield was "popping out" of the flag.  To me, this makes it too "in your face" or even cartoonish.  It's like the coat of arms has just been thrown on top of the tricolour.  So I wanted to try to flatten the image and make the flag look like it's a single unit.  Some historical Croatian flags keep the checkered shield completely within the white bar, so I wanted to give a nod to that.

 

My Altered Version:

 

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Note: These designs partially incorporate or may be altered from the vector work of others.  The goat, martin, and basic shape of the stars and moon are credited to MaxxL. The lion/leopard heads are credited to Perhelion.  The foundational structure of the main checkered shield is credited to Ma. The original design if the coat of arms and flag is credited to Miroslav Šutej.

 

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I think this is a great modernization. I'm just curious to see what it would look like without a gap between the shield and the crown.

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5 hours ago, NoE38 said:

I think this is a great modernization. I'm just curious to see what it would look like without a gap between the shield and the crown.

 

Thank you for the comment and suggestion.

 

Here it is with the crown and the shield touching.  I think it solves the problem of the awkward red/white break going between them on the flag. 

 

The downside is I think it makes the coat of arms, when shown by itself, a little more stiff looking.

 

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These look good! If I may offer a suggestion? Try a halfway approach. I'm not a fan of how the crown looks directly on top of the shield. At the same time? I don't like how the crown in the first version isn't aligned with the top red stripe. There's just a sliver of red that pokes out from under it, and it looks a bit awkward. I hope you don't mind, but I mocked up what I think would be an ideal design.

 

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The crown is still "floating" over the shield, but it's been lowered just a bit to align with the red stripe. It makes for an overall clearer and more balanced look, in my opinion.

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15 hours ago, Ice_Cap said:

These look good! If I may offer a suggestion? Try a halfway approach. I'm not a fan of how the crown looks directly on top of the shield. At the same time? I don't like how the crown in the first version isn't aligned with the top red stripe. There's just a sliver of red that pokes out from under it, and it looks a bit awkward. I hope you don't mind, but I mocked up what I think would be an ideal design.

 

The crown is still "floating" over the shield, but it's been lowered just a bit to align with the red stripe. It makes for an overall clearer and more balanced look, in my opinion.

 

Thank you for the comment, suggestion, and mock-up!

 

I really like your idea.  Amazing how it seems so simple now.  I think it gives the best option for having it look good on the flag and by itself (I actually like the connected crown on the flag, just not by itself).  I'm generally weary of having things just floating around, but I think it can work in this case.

 

I also thought about changing the shape of the checkered shield or slightly increasing the height of the 3 blue points in the crown, to make the shield look less stiff, but I think that might be taking things a step too far and will lose resemblance to the current design.

 

To me, this really reinforces the importance of getting feedback and appreciating that different opinions can really add to an idea.

 

Here is the coat of arms, by-itself, with the decreased gap between it and the shield.

 

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I like it. Definitely an improvement.

I never was a big fan of our flag. The shield is fine but that "zoo" crown should be removed from the flag or we should change it to something like this:

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My personal favorite is still the proposed flag from croatian designer Boris Ljubičić in 1990.

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Thanks for the comment!  

 

Yeah, the crown makes it a lot more busy, especially with the animals.  I originally preferred a šahovnica-only flag, but now I do see benefits of leaving that to represent all Croatians everywhere (ethnic flag) and the Republic of Croatia having a slightly different flag. 

 

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^This is pretty good.  Maybe too similar to the Herceg-Bosna flag, though, this one is better!

 

I think that's actually the first time I've seen the Ljubičić flag, though I've seen a bunch similar to it.  It's probably the nicest of the "racing" flags.

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Thanks for the mention @ec5 :)) I think you hit the nail on the head in regards of my opinion. I too, like @dado, struggle with loving our flag completely. Multiple coats of arms always bugged me. I get they were trying to unite the different regions and represent them, but in the end they've produced an overly complicated flag which definitely breaks some general rules of good flag design. Personally, I'd get rid of the regional shields completely, the checker is a strong enough symbol to stand on it's own and represent the people and the country competently. 

 

What I like about your design is that you've toned down the saturation of the colors, it's a welcomed change 'cause the digital flag is just too much for the eyes. 

Overall, it's a cool rendition of Croatia's flag, you've done a good job with it; its fun seeing Zagreb in red again. :))

 

And as far as my favorite proposal for our flag, it's gotta be this one. The ratios could use work, but its pleasing to look at.

 

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1 hour ago, OliverP said:

but in the end they've produced an overly complicated flag which definitely breaks some general rules of good flag design

I would disagree. Flags aren't corporate or sports logos. They don't necessarily have to be clean or simply designed. They should reflect the heritage of the nation, and sometimes that means a complicated design that employs heraldry. There was a BBC quote about flags around the time of the failed New Zealand flag referendum. I'm paraphrasing, but a flag is like a family member. You don't try to trade an unattractive one for an attractive one, because aesthetics isn't the key issue here. Who they are is.

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On 8/29/2019 at 11:30 PM, Ice_Cap said:

I would disagree. Flags aren't corporate or sports logos. They don't necessarily have to be clean or simply designed. They should reflect the heritage of the nation, and sometimes that means a complicated design that employs heraldry. There was a BBC quote about flags around the time of the failed New Zealand flag referendum. I'm paraphrasing, but a flag is like a family member. You don't try to trade an unattractive one for an attractive one, because aesthetics isn't the key issue here. Who they are is.

 

True, flags aren't corporate or sports logos, but in a way they are a brand, or at least a part of the brand that is the country and its people so that's why I believe a good flag should keep things simple, while not being way too simple that it straddles the line of being forgetful. The Croats have a signature in the red and white checkerboard, and it's been that way since the middle ages. That's a hell of a lot of heritage and history to work with when designing a flag; it should've been enough to keep things simple and also to create a kickass flag.

 

The way I look at the shield crown is that it's just a lazy way to symbolize the country's unity after the war and I don't know if that's worth sacrificing some of the flag's legibility, memorability and reproductive capabilities.

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1 minute ago, OliverP said:

 

The way I look at the shield crown is that it's just a lazy way to symbolize the country's unity after the war and I don't know if that's worth sacrificing some of the flag's legibility, memorability and reproductive capabilities.

Reproductive capabilities aren't an issue these days. Spain's official flag contains the royal coat of arms, but for a long time they had a co-official design that was just the red/gold/red tricolour. That was used by private citizens because it was relatively expensive to produce a version of the flag with the complex coat of arms. Then screen printing technology reached the point where such complicated details could be replicated at almost no extra cost. Now you see the version of the Spanish flag with the coat of arms all over the place because it's no hassle to produce cheap flags that include it.

Same with Croatia. The way flags are made for the general population is such that the details of the Croatian flag can be reproduced incredibly easily.

 

 

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On 8/29/2019 at 1:26 PM, OliverP said:

Thanks for the mention @ec5 :)) I think you hit the nail on the head in regards of my opinion. I too, like @dado, struggle with loving our flag completely. Multiple coats of arms always bugged me. I get they were trying to unite the different regions and represent them, but in the end they've produced an overly complicated flag which definitely breaks some general rules of good flag design. Personally, I'd get rid of the regional shields completely, the checker is a strong enough symbol to stand on it's own and represent the people and the country competently. 

 

What I like about your design is that you've toned down the saturation of the colors, it's a welcomed change 'cause the digital flag is just too much for the eyes. 

Overall, it's a cool rendition of Croatia's flag, you've done a good job with it; its fun seeing Zagreb in red again. :))

 

And as far as my favorite proposal for our flag, it's gotta be this one. The ratios could use work, but its pleasing to look at.

 

 

@OliverP Thanks for your comment. I mentioned you because we chatted a few years back and I really liked some of your logo redesigns (Still waiting on a Pipi one! :) ).  Always nice to get the thoughts of a Croat who is also in graphic design (and nice to know that Dado is one, too).

 

 

On 9/2/2019 at 2:32 PM, Ice_Cap said:

Reproductive capabilities aren't an issue these days. Spain's official flag contains the royal coat of arms, but for a long time they had a co-official design that was just the red/gold/red tricolour. That was used by private citizens because it was relatively expensive to produce a version of the flag with the complex coat of arms. Then screen printing technology reached the point where such complicated details could be replicated at almost no extra cost. Now you see the version of the Spanish flag with the coat of arms all over the place because it's no hassle to produce cheap flags that include it.

Same with Croatia. The way flags are made for the general population is such that the details of the Croatian flag can be reproduced incredibly easily.

 

 

 

@Ice_Cap I get what you're saying and agree in many ways.  A flag/coat of arms is about who a group of people are and we can't just simply things because that is the style of modern graphic art.  I actually think you, @OliverP, and @dado are all on the same page, but with different points of view.  To them, the current coat of arms is presented in way that hasn't been seen before 1990, making it artificial.  The regional coat of arms on the crown have been displayed before, but typically on the Austro-Hungarian coat of arms (attempts to unite these regions, as opposed to keeping them divided, were a significant part of Croatian nationalism).  You're saying we shouldn't simplify history.  They're saying that, for Croatians, the simplified checkerboard is history.  In a way, everyone is right.  

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