Monday, April 17, 2017

How I created a crest for my railway

I have always fancied the idea of having a crest for my railway company, but until now have not been sure about the procedure for creating one. I then started experimenting with Serif DrawPlus. I originally invested in the free 'Starter Edition' (which is still available on some download sites - eg CNET ( )and then decided to upgrade to the full edition (only£19.95 - ). It seems DrawPlus has now been superceded by Affinity Draw.

To begin the process, I searched the internet for an image of a railway crest which I felt could be adapted to meet my needs. I eventually homed-in on the crest for the Somerset & Dorset Joint Railway.
I wanted something which could easily be cut out from a vinyl sheet and yet looked reasonably fancy.

I opened the file in Paint .......

..... and set about changing the colour scheme and removing the railway name and coat of arms. I used the fill tool to replaced the blue with green.

.... and then used the eraser tool to remove the railway name.

I then tackled the crest by firstly using the fill tool to replace the larger areas of colour with maroon......

..... and then using the eraser tool to remove the remaining lines.

Now I had the basic shape of the crest, I searched the internet for a crest which I could place in the middle of the roundel. I found the coat of arms of the Tollemache family, who built and used to own Peckforton Castle. In my imagined history of my railway, Lord Tollemache was a significant benefactor of the railway and hence I felt the railway's crest would prominently feature his family crest.
To be able to import this crest into the centre of the doctored S&DJR crest, I needed to replace the white background with maroon. This I did in Paint. In addition to using the Fill Tool, I needed to use the Pencil Tool to tidy up the edges. In hindsight, I realise now that I could have saved myself a lot of work by only filling the internal white background areas with maroon as the Cut-out Studio in DrawPlus is very accurate in defining the outer edges of the shape.

The background roundel was then opened in Serif DrawPlus. To create the circular text, I first of all drew a circle the same size as the inner part of the roundel.

I then selected circle and then clicked on the Artistic Text Tool.

 I then clicked on the circle with this tool and started typing the text for the name of my railway.

I changed the colour of the text to yellow and changed the font to Davida, using the Format Character menu .....

...... and then copied and pasted the text, changed its colour to gold ........

..... and then superimposed the yellow text on the gold to give a shadow effect. The two pieces of text were then grouped together.

I then dragged and dropped the text on to the roundel, adjusting the size of the text box and rotating it with the rotation tool until it fitted into the available space. I also used the Text Format menu to adjust the character spacing so that it fitted more appropriately.

I then imported the Tollemache coat of arms, ..........

....... and used the Cut-out Studio to select the outline of the drawing. This was achieved automatically by clicking on the maroon background.

After OK-ing this change, I then dragged the coat of arms into the centre of the roundel and adjusted its size to make it a snug fit.

I then reduced the size of the railway crest, printing it out on plain paper a few times until I got it to be the right size for fitting on to the sides of my coaches. I draw a rectangle around the crest and filled it maroon, then then copied and pasted the crest a few times.

The crests were then printed on to self adhesive vinyl sheet (available from places such as Snap Paper) and the individual crests were then carefully cut out with scissors and applied to the sides of the coaches.

I may need to apply some maroon paint to the edges of the sticker to disguise it a little more, or alternatively, I could have used decal paper or sent the crest to a commercial transfer printing company. However, as I already had some vinyl paper in stock and I am impatient, I am quite pleased with the outcome.

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