November 25, 2013 by phicks2012
The study of Heraldry and of Heraldic Display is not one that lends itself to overnight mastery of the subject. There are many rules, even today, that govern how heraldic Coats of Arms are blazoned and are put together, and one of the main things to remember is that these designs need to be identifiable from a distance. Their elements need to be simple enough in outline to be recognizable, must be portrayed in accepted postures or forms, and must have sufficient contrast.
On Saturday September 7th, 2013 the Arkansas State football team was penalized at the start of each half of their game for wearing low-contrast football jerseys. These jerseys were a dark grey with darkish red numerals, and while the numerals were readable at close range they were not identifiable at a distance. This is a good example of how contrast works even in areas other than heraldry.
Street signs likewise need to have contrast (light on dark and dark on light) in order to be read from a distance, and the same rules apply to Heraldry and to good advertising signage.
For a more detailed lesson on heraldry in general, here is a very nice site: