21st Century Heraldry is an ongoing project by Dutch designers Rens Muis & Pieter Vos working under the name of 75B. They are continuously collecting and studying the symbolic armory of our time.
In 2001 they made a new crest for their homecity Rotterdam being the Cultural Capital of Europe. It’s current heraldic achievements were visualized in a coat of arms with both representative successful icons of the city as well as the reverse sided issues and phenomena. Next to it’s skyline, harbour and university, the traumatic WWII bombing, a fast-food chain and the hooliganism related gabber house music were included.
As artists in residence living for a year in Los Angeles they created one for L.A. in 2008. Again both the sunny as the dark side were pictured; Oscars wearing bloods and crips bandanas, plastic surgery culture in Beverly Hills, homeless district Skid Row, and a Playboy bunny wearing Micky Mouse ears were part of the armory.
Muis and Vos decided to make this an extensive project titled 21st Century Heraldry and editions for Amsterdam, Hamburg, Napoli and Palermo followed. These crests received a lot of attention and to many requests for an affordable version. Therefore poster versions were printed and made available.
In 2019 the first five editions on large tapestries (235 x 170 cm) were jacquard woven in the TextielLab at the TextielMuseum Tilburg. The first Tapestry was included in the collection of Museum Rotterdam in 2020.
For developing a contemporary coat of arms 75B visits a city several times. During these visits they search for icons and their stories by walking and photographing, talking to locals, reading and searching for backgrounds in musea and libraries. Finalizing a crest takes about one year. Currently 75B is working on editions for Milan, Torino and London.