An idea I unfortunately did not have time to pursue was the illustration of local legends and sayings.
The Miracle of the Roses
A very popular legend in Leiria is the Miracle of the Roses. The story is told of Elizabeth of Portugal, also known as Elizabeth of Aragon (1271–4 July 1336). Married to King Denis of Portugal, she showed great devotion at an early age, and likewise was charitable toward the poor, against the wishes of her husband. Caught one day by her husband, while carrying bread in her apron, the food was turned into roses. Since this occurred in January, King Denis reportedly had no response and let his wife continue.
There is a popular saying people from Leiria have, describing the city in a sort of spiel and play of words. It goes something like this: “A rua direita é torta [The high street is sinuous] / O sino não está na Sé [The bell is not in the cathedral] / O rio corre ao contrário [The river flows upside down] / E Leiria toda assim é! [And Leiria is just like that!]”
I also made a few drawings of a church located in the city centre which, as a child, I would call “the sad church”, due to the lack of colour and decorations compared to other churches. The images also refer to the river which crosses the city and the calçada portuguesa.
In the context of a city branding project, where we deal with the city – or rather the city council – as if it were a brand, the coat of arms is essentially the city’s logo. This means it is a very significant element of a city’s visual identity and, as such, I thought I would see what I could do to make it better adapt to Leiria’s new image.
Presently, the city council uses a simplified version of the original coat of arms – which exists since medieval times -; however, it is still very much alike and, in my opinion, does not reflect our modern society.
This was my first experiment. Although I did like it, something felt a bit odd. I realized the outline was maybe too thin, so I decided to re-do it.
This next image shows both the first and second experiment.
The final result seemed to work a lot better. The bolder outline made the image look more balanced and professional-looking.
I did not consider any colours, as this can usually be changed depending on the product/image/background in which the coat of arms is placed. Nevertheless, black & white (and sometimes grey) seem to be the colours most used.