In centuries gone past, a coat of arms was used primarily to protect the user, as well as inform friend or foe of the wearer's allegiances, on whose behalf they fought.
The Premier League equivalent of such a device would be a club's badge or crest, sported on every jersey for the masses to see.
However, not every side outfit in the English top flight has as attractive a signature as the last.
As time progresses, badges change and receive more modern updates but usually retain some essence of their roots.
Taking a look at the most recent designs, we've ranked the Premier League inhabitants' badges, with intricacy, colour scheme, historical value and overall appeal all playing their bit in what makes a crest great.
Also, as you'll see, it never hurts to have a nifty mascot on the design either.
Of course this is all strictly opinion, so feel free to give us your rankings in the forum below.
It was in 2001 that Fulham looked to step into the 21st century with a radical new badge design, doing away with their more traditional coat of arms and reintroducing a shield sporting the club's acronym, "FFC."
However, it's all just a bit drab, isn't it?
Most clubs use their initials as part of their crest, but not too often are three or four letters enough to really warrant being the main focus of what's essentially a club's logo.
Were it not for a small splash of red, the club's black and white colours alone would have made for an even more boring product.
On the pitch, Stoke City have developed a reputation for being a tad uninventive, although Mark Hughes is doing all he can to change that, having assumed the position as manager over the summer.
However, if a club's badge were to be deemed their representative off the pitch, the Potters are almost as dull when they aren't in action.
One positive about Stoke's crest is that one can never go wrong with red, white and blue, but a little more might have been changed to celebrate the club's 150th year.
Getting the bare essentials out of the way, Stoke's designers made sure to include the club's name, nickname and their length of time as a club, the extra-wacky idea of splicing some stripes in not exactly a thing of genius.
And not too far ahead in the stripes game is West Brom, who edge in front of Stoke by the good grace of having more than a wee bit of history behind their badge.
The throstle has been something of a mascot for the Baggies since the 1880s when, according to HistoricalKits.com, club secretary Tom Smith suggested the club used the image of the bird sitting on a crossbar as their logo. This was due to the fact that the pub in which the team used to get changed had one such caged bird.
Decades later, a throstle would often sit on the sidelines at games and is rumoured to only have sung when the Baggies were winning.
All niceties aside, however, the bird simply isn't mean enough to cut it with some of the other fearsome mascots in the English top flight, although West Brom have made no mistake in emblazoning their name upon the crest in very legible font.
It's a shame that Everton changed the design of their badge in May 2013, as the previous look would have undoubtedly made it higher up this list.
Regardless, the Toffees have maintained the staples of the crest, including the Latin "Nil Satis, Nisi Optimum," which means "Nothing but the best is good enough."
Roberto Martinez would certainly profess as much, but unfortunately the badge is far from the best. In accordance with these rankings, it's not even average.
Of course, blue remains the staple of the badge, which keeps the use of The Beacon, a famous landmark in Everton, as its main attraction.
However, previous designs of The Beacon have included more detailnot to mention the loss of the two laurel wreaths, symbols of success in times of old, is disappointing.
Since rising through the Premier League ranks over the last three years, millions have become more familiar with not only who Swansea City are, but are also very much aware of the Swans.
Elegant creatures, the club's mascot is in a way very significant of its team's playing style.
But elegance often just so happens to toe the line alongside boredom.
The actual design of the swan on the team's badge is very nicely done, but there's just not quite enough going on here to make City's crest that much of an attraction.
Another side lumped with the issue of having white and black as the staple of their kit, last season's 100th anniversary special was a terrific spin, throwing a majestic amount of gold into the mix.
The sooner the next centenary celebrations come around, the better.
As one can see, birds are some of the most commonly used animal mascots in football, and they don't always come out looking all that intimidating.
For example, take Tottenham, who saw fit to perch a navy flamingo atop a medicine ball as some sort of cruel joke.
Of course that's a fabrication. The bird is in fact a cockerel; former Spurs player William James Scott once sketched the creature standing on a football in the early 20th century.
This was in homage to Harry Hotspur, who is rumoured to have been an inspiration in the club's name and dressed his fighting cocks with spurs attached.
One might call the badge incredibly retro and outside of the normal parameters, but it's rather difficult to see the trees for the forest that is a bird on a ball.
In theory, Aston Villa have struck a winning formula with their badge.
They've used a proud jungle cat as the main crux of the design, made sure to include the club's initials for all to see and have been sure to not let their opponents forget the European Cup win of 1982, the star signifying that triumph.
Finally, just to round matters off, the word "PREPARED" has been splashed across the bottom. It remains an enigma what that's supposed to mean.
All jokes aside, though, the Birmingham giants may have been tempted to keep the stripes of crests gone past, something that would at least give a bit more colour to the claret and blue slab.
Now we're getting somewhere. Not only have Norwich City gone for the common approach of including a bird on their strip, but they've chosen to add a second animal in just for good measure and are the only Premier League club to do so.
The castle and lion in the top-left corner of the badge are to signify the Norwich coat of arms, showing that the Norfolk outfit are indeed loyal to their city's cause.
For hundreds of years, canaries have had a strong connection with the area. They continue to serve as the crux of City's badge, in the current incarnation resting atop a football, of all things.
Though many might disagree, yellow and green has also proven to be a fine colour combination for the club. This crest has a lot going in its favour.
Southampton possibly have the strangest mix of objects currently on any Premier League crest. They better have good reason behind their myriad of badge decorations including a halo, a football, a scarf, a tree, water and a white rose.
And they do.
The halo is to signify the club's nickname "The Saints," while the football obviously points to the reason the badge was even constructed, as is the red-and-white scarf, included in tribute to Southampton's fans.
The tree serves as a symbol of the nearby New Forest, while the town has always had strong links with the rivers and sea and a white rose can be seen on the city's coat of arms.
So, after lambasting a few clubs for not having enough detail on their badges, it feels only right that one club be punished for being a little too hectic with the design.
In use since 2005, Chelsea's current badge is the fourth major renovation that the club have given to their crest in a history dating back just over 100 years.
Since 1953, a lion has always featured on the Blues' badge, with no prizes for guessing what the team's primary colour has been since their inception.
In fairness to the West Londoners, as far as teams playing in blue go, Chelsea have perhaps got one of the most attractive shades of royal blue adorning their kit, with subtle hints of white, gold and red added onto the crest.
Jose Mourinho's team are also among the legion of European clubs who use a lion as their flagbearer, but this rare circular approach is perhaps lacking in historical value above all else.
One might argue that the eagle reigns as most noble of all the sky's inhabitants, so Crystal Palace locked onto a legitimate winner when appointing the bird as their mascot in the 1970s.
An extremely cool design of the creature sits plastered across the club's most recent crest design, claws curled in possession of a football, with the real Crystal Palace, burned down in 1936, stretching forth from under its form.
Here, the badge is displayed in an unconventional black and silver, but it looks just as slick in the more traditional red and blue of Selhurst Park.
Another of this season's Premier League new boys, Cardiff City's controversial transformation from blue to red is a choice that's transcended kit colour and swiftly made its way onto the club's badge since first being adopted in 2012.
The best thing about City's crest also happens to be the most obvious aspect of it—the mythical dragon significant of the team's Welsh roots and ties to the colour red.
However, the Bluebirds haven't completely lost touch with their roots and retain some mention of their mascot at the base of the badge, sitting just below their motto of "Fire and Passion."
Dragons are all well and good, but tigers are another firm foundation of fear among the Premier League clubs, and Hull City are not pulling any punches in their crest.
Getting the basics down to a tee, the KC Stadium outfit include their name and nickname with not much time afforded for the other bells and whistles.
It might be a boring design, too, were there not a giant tiger's head roaring from the badge's centre.
A love-or-hate crest if ever there was one. We've gone more for the former.
West Ham United are among some of the most revered clubs of tradition in England, regarded as being a family club, support of the outfit passed down from generation to generation.
The East Londoners represent that in their badge, which has showcased Green Street House, otherwise known as Boleyn Castle, for more than 100 years.
It was named thus due to the rumour that it was one of the sites at which King Henry VIII once courted Anne Boleyn, relating to the Boleyn Ground, where West Ham are based.
More than the likes of Aston Villa or Burnley, it's with West Ham that claret and blue has perhaps become most synonymous in Europe.
The Hammers nickname is in reference to the deep roots the club hold with ironwork in the local area—having previously been named Thames Ironworks FC—and is a trait that has remained prominent on the crest for more than a century.
Seahorses are far from the most intimidating mascots, but the mixture of gold and grey on Newcastle United's badge actually makes the aquatic specimens appear almost regal in this sense, and that deserves praise in itself.
The seahorse is included in the first place as a nod to the city's strong links with the sea, while the castle is sketched in allusion to Norman Keep, more simply referred to as "The Castle."
Throughout their crest, United use strong influence from Newcastle's coat of arms, which is always a patriotic plus, while the black and white shield is evidently in tribute to the team's traditional colours.
Now we're getting down to business as Arsenal slot into fifth place in our list.
The Gunners' current badge came as a result of a 2002 remodelling of the crest, its predecessor having become quite a jumbled design after incorporating many different influences down the years.
No such mistake has been made with this approach.
Arsenal have had cannons in their crest since the team's 1886 inception, using the Borough of Woolwich's coat of arms as a strong influence. That area holds extremely close ties to the military.
Simplicity at its best, the three cannons that originally decorated the crest have since been reduced to just one, with gold, white and red sticking out as the prominent and fluid colour scheme for which the North Londoners have become so well known.
Aforementioned clubs have been noted for being a bit boring in their badge design, but the Gunners' product is a perfect example of how less can most certainly be more.
Sunderland wish that the Premier League's hierarchy was decided on crest design and not actual on-pitch performance, in which case they'd have escaped the relegation zone a long time ago.
Like rivals Newcastle, though, the Black Cats haven't done a bad job at all with their badge, unveiled in 1997 to coincide with the opening of the Stadium of Light, a new chapter in the club's tale.
Divided into four quarters, the club's shield depicts their red and white colours in the upper right and lower left. But in the upper left we see the Penshaw Monument, and the lower right section shows the Wearmouth Bridge, two significant areas of interest on Wearside.
Having shirked the ship that was so prominent on the former badge design, a colliery wheel is evident at the top in tribute to the area's mining history, while two lions, always a solid choice in the mascot world, claw to the crest from either side.
Dressed across the top of the design in Latin, a banner reads "Consectatio Excellentiae," which translates to "In pursuit of excellence."
Red and white is a common blend in the football world, but the generous addition of gold just gives a more luxurious feel to the Northeast outfit's logo.
It might pain some to admit it, but the Abu Dhabi group made a fine choice in terms of marketability when taking over Manchester City in 2008, the Citizens having a very attractive crest to their name.
Although it's not a competition (it is), Manuel Pellegrini's side have beaten Crystal Palace in the eagle race, theirs being of the giant golden variety. Gold.
Like other northern teams, the sea is important to City. The ship is seen on their badge in reference to the Manchester Chip Canal, while the three diagonal stripes below are significant of the city's three rivers.
One particularly strange aspect of City's crest is the addition of three stars above which, despite usually symbolising some sort of club achievement, in this case mean absolutely nothing. Don't they look nice, though?
Always a sucker for some scripture, we've also given the club bonus points for the Latin motto “Superbia in proelio,” meaning "Pride in battle," seen draped around the bottom of the badge.
Like bitter rivals City, Manchester United again recognise the trading history of the city with a ship to commemorate the Manchester Ship Canal, which sits atop a shield.
Of course, joining the shield as the main attraction of the crest is perhaps the most revered and respect of all Premier League or even world mascots, the Red Devil.
The Satanic being was first introduced as a term around the Old Trafford club by Sir Matt Busby. But it has since become something so much more significant, not least of which making the club's crest look edgier than most.
Several decades ago, two footballs replaced the Lancashire roses that once sat either side of the badge in a case of sport before heritage, while the words "Manchester United" are recognisable enough in the traditional yellow and red.
In July of this year, the Daily Mail's Joe Bernstein reported that the words "football club" may soon be brought back onto the crest, although no official word has been given on that revival just yet.
And coming out on top of the pile is an insignia that brings with it as much historical value as most other European powers is that of Liverpool FC.
Not a club to mince their words, there isn't a wasted bit of space to be seen on the club's current crest, each aspect of the design holding some significance of the club's history.
Whether it's the two eternal flames on either side of the shield, added as twin symbols of the Hillsborough memorial outside Anfield, or the small tribute to the Shankly Gates that now dress the head of the badge, the Reds' shirt logo is an icon in itself.
Up until the 1960s, Liverpool's shorts and socks brought a lot more white into their strip, but it was a decision of Bill Shankly's to incorporate an entirely red look in a bid to look more menacing.
This is carried across to the badge, which of course also features the club's unforgettable motto "You'll Never Walk Alone," again used by the team since the 1960s, becoming a massive part of football culture since.
Last but not least is of course the liver bird, synonymous with Liverpool and a symbol of the city, redesigned on several occasions but looking positively awesome in its current badge state.