Alexander Kurov was born in 1973 in St. Petersburg into a family of linguists. His interest to heraldry goes back to his childhood when he developed an all-consuming passion for all sorts of alphabets, characters, symbols and ideography. Alex reached maturity in a very interesting time to say the least and he attributes the revival in interest in heraldry in the last two decades to the collapse of Communism in Russia and Eastern Europe, the scary offensive of depersonalizing 'mass culture' (globalization) and the development of the Internet. All this collided in Alex's mind like atomic particles and the result was the creation of the first Russian website devoted to heraldic history and theory that he and his childhood friend, Alexander Boitsov, launched in 1999. Since then An Introduction to Heraldry is the foremost heraldic site in Cyrillic and has been visited by hundreds of thousands of curious, interested people.
He has an advisory role within the Heraldic Department of the Chancellery of the Head of the Russian Imperial Household, Her Imperial Highness Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna of the House of Romanov. For his service he was awarded personal nobility. In 2002 Alex emigrated to Germany and nowadays resides in the Hanseatic city of Wismar.
What, I believe, sets my art apart from the rest, is the emphasis I put on the influencing of the subconscious. Contrary to placing a few stripes or roses on a shield and calling it a day, I strive to create a living and speaking theatre of heraldic symbols and actors. They perform, much to the pleasure of their audience, with only one goal in mind: to tell a story about the Arms' bearer. Every Coat of Arms is therefore not merely a symbol or an insignia, but a collection of sentiments, thought-provoking patterns and connotations that play with the beholder's imagination and leave a lasting impression.
The world of heraldry is inhabited by majestic animals and mythical beasts. It is a realm of timeless tales and awe-inspiring beauty. Each Coat of Arms is therefore a potential door into a living and breathing land of wonders - and I encourage you to open it.
Years of professional practice culminated in a technical approach, which successfully combines the strict demands of heraldic ethics with a refined taste in aesthetics.
A distinct ethic in my work is to maintain great attention to detail whenever designing even the smallest structural elements of the arms.
Since a coat of arms was classically envisioned as a three-dimensional object, I go to great lengths to portray visual depth and weight in my art.
No arms is like the other, for each project becomes permeated with the distinct flavor of the armiger's personality.
Unlike many of my colleagues, I prefer to avoid rehashing elements from previous projects. Every project and every element are drawn entirely from scratch.
What follows is but a selection of carefully picked, distinct items from an otherwise larger portoflio. If you wish to view the full gallery, please follow this link.
You may click on the images to the right interact with them.
Even if you do not possess official entitlement to bear arms, in today's day and age it is completely normal for private individuals and businesses to bear arms as personal insignias or branding logos. And regardless of whether you're looking to refresh and/or redesign your existing coat of arms — or to create an entirely new project from scratch — I will be more than happy to guide you through this difficult yet exciting process. In conclusion, you will be presented with a piece of heraldic artwork of the highest standards.
If I've managed to spark your interest, and you would like to have your very own coat of arms, please follow the guidelines to the right:
You can reach me by using the contact form provided at the end of this webpage. I shall respond to you as quickly as possible, and we shall decide on the nature of your project, its price, and deadlines. If the contact form is inaccessible, then send your e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
My experience shows that a single project, depending on its complexity, may take anywhere between 2 months to 2 years to complete. Redesiging an existing coat of arms, or completing a project from an existing blazon, does not take very long. But coming up with an idea for an entirely new coat of arms, and ensuring that it does not violate the rules of heraldic ethics, is what tends to be time-consuming.
During the project's production process, I shall contact you on many occasions to ensure that my drawing meets your expectations. However, you will enjoy only limited freedom in directing the artistic process — it is imperative for me to ensure that my work abides by the rules of heraldic ethics.
Once your coat of arms will be complete, I will send you several digital copies of it, among them a large high-definition *.tif file, with the arms displayed on a transparent background. However, you shall receive all of the aformentioned files only after all financial questions have been settled. (note: all arms are completed using raster graphics, hence I will not be able to provide you with a vector file of the project.)