Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Canadian Armed Forces Badge

The Canadian Forces (CF) (French: Forces canadiennes; FC), officially the Canadian Armed Forces (French: Forces armées canadiennes), are the unified armed forces of Canada. according to the National Defence Act: "The Canadian Forces are the armed forces of Her Majesty raised by Canada and consist of one Service called the Canadian Armed Forces." The CAF consist of three main branches: Maritime Command (MARCOM), Land Force Command (LFC), and Air Command (AIRCOM). At the pinnacle of the command structure is the Commander-in-Chief, who is the reigning Canadian monarch, Elizabeth II, represented by the Governor General.
The Canadian Armed Forces badge was approved in August, 1967, to represent the Canadian Forces. It combines symbols from the three services – Army, Navy and Air Force.

About the “Canadian Armed Forces Badge” artwork: The complexity of this striking image was certainly a challenge, but the beauty of it was a true inspiration. As usually, I started by recreating a vector image of the badge in Adobe Illustrator CS4. After that, I used my unique multi-layer process in Adobe Photoshop CS4, layer by layer, element by element, detail by detail, giving the image it’s current look, feel and textures.
As with all “Military Insignia” series, my aim was to retain all the official colors and elements , at the same time applying realistic textures, and 3d-effects, brining life into the flat and plain two-dimensional image.
I had to play with multiple textures of gold, silk, precious gems and pearls for the crown. Various shades of gold were also applied to give dimensions and striking appearance to the eagle. The swords have received shiny steel blades. I also decided to give a vintage, weathered and somewhat corroded look to the anchor, and applied multiple textures to its components. And of course, as a final touch, I've used some nice enamels effects on the background platter and maple leaves.

As always, the above artworks are available  via my “Military Insignia” galleries from FineArt America and RedBubble. You can just follow the links in the article to get to the corresponding galleries.

To active duty or reserve military personnel, veterans and their family members: I grant an explicit permission to download the above images to be used for non-profit/non-commercial and charitable causes, benefiting troops and their families, as well as for non-commercial internal duty-specific purposes, such as unit website design, training materials and presentations. 


  1. Can you send me a vector version of the crest BEFORE you modified it? I want to cut it into wood and all the effects you do don't vector well and make it difficult. But your designs are very nice. Thanks.

  2. I am very curious about the legal action taken by the Canadian Armed Forces in pursuit of you for a copyright violation. How did they find out? Why did they care? How did they contact you? What action did they actually threaten? By what means?

    1. There was no legal action - just a request to remove all products with Canadian insignia from my galleries at several PODs. How did they found out? I guess I became too famous :) Why did they care is not quite clear, but I guess doing what I was doing was against certain rules and regulations. They never contacted me directly, went straight after the PODs' content management teams. I wasn't the only affected, though - many artists lost their work at the time. I complied, but clearly I wasn't happy with such turn of events, and let DND know about it. At that point DND offered a lengthy process of seeking approval with Command of each unit/formation on a case-by-case basis, but I simply did not have time for that, and gave up...


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