Several months ago, my mother was cleaning out a closet and came across a small woodcut print block and a printed-on-paper example of the woodcut block.
The print is a large deer head with antlers, a shield featuring a lion or wild cat in an attack pose, an area with three mushroom-like designs, and an area of crosshatched square shapes. Below is a ribbon banner with the latin text “Virtute et Valore.” Now, I never took latin, but I am pretty certain we all are capable of translating that phrase.
Apparently, my father was given this a long time ago and was told it was the family crest for our family, the Misselhorn family. From what I’ve been told, we are mostly Swedish and German on that side of the family, so perhaps this design originated in one of those countries.
Being an enthusiast of both traditional and digital design, I was excited by this found object, and decided the appropriate thing to do was to take this woodcut print into a digital form. Hopefully these images will interest some other Misselhorns out there in cyberspace, or fans of family crests.
My first step was to scan into JPG form using my flatbed scanner. This scan appears above right. On top of this scan, I began to trace the design with Adobe Illustrator, building up layers until I had traced a completely digital vector version of it. It took an hour or two of the Illustrator pen tool to get all the details, but now it is available for any Misselhorns who might be surfing around for some information on their ancestry.
A progression of the tracing steps are shown in the renderings below.
I have compiled a download pack of the Misselhorn Family Crest which includes the following files:
- Vector Versions
- Color & Gray-scale JPGs
- Backgroundless PNG files
- Photoshop Project Files
- Photoshop Brush
- iPhone/iPad icon, for who knows