Posts Tagged ‘fidei’

Scutum Fidei – Update to a Popular Symbolic Graphic

// June 28th, 2013 // 1 Comment » // Apologetics, Theology

There’s a popular graphic that I used in my writings on the doctrine of the Trinity that illustrated the Trinity very clearly. What it illustrates is perfect: it illustrates the teaching of the biblical, historical Trinity without it getting confused with common unbilblical heresies or anti-Christological variants (such as Unitarianism, Modalism, Eutychianism, Nestorianism, Oneness, etc.). The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit can each be called GOD; But, the Father is not the Son, the Son is not the Father, the Father is not the Holy Spirit, and so on. In other words, each individual Person is and can each be called God (and is God), but each Person remains distinct. (Theological Note: This is never to be thought of as an icon or image of God Himself (which would be a graven image) but an illustration of the teaching of the Trinity itself and how we understand it.)

The Original Graphic


It’s called the Scutum Fidei, or “Shield of the Trinity,” and its history in ecclesiastical iconography dates back to as early as the 12th century. This popular image that marks such an important and pivotal Christian teaching essential to salvation. has made its way onto the Wikipedia page for the Doctrine of the Trinity and is recopied, re-tweeted, and placed as a status widespread among social networks. I wanted to update this image without reducing its simplicity. The font as you can see has serifs, but I wanted to update the font to something that is a bit more aesthetically pleasing to further the already large distribution of the graphic.

Here’s another representation of the Scutum Fidei that I’ve found (on the right):

This image is great, but I think that the more simplistic version of the image is more popular and more widely spread throughout the internet. So, I set out to recreate this popular graphic, another goal being to make it a vector image that anyone can download here and modify to suit their needs for their church’s website or blog.

Brief History of the Scutum Fidei

Source: Wikipedia -- here is the earliest verified version of the Scutum Fidei, originally written in Latin in early the 1200’s AD. It was meant to be an illustrated summary of the 6th century Athenasian Creed. Its name came from a version of it with the likeness of a ‘shield,’ though it was never used on a shield. It gained great widespread exposure in the mid-13th century, climaxing in the 15th and 16th centuries, until the 17th century when it declined in use…until closer to our day in the 19th century.

Today you can see this popular image poping up all over the internet and believers begin to study the Christian faith and understand once again the essential teachings of the Bible.

Image Source: Wikipedia


Recreating a Popular Graphic

Here I detail my attempt to provide an update to the popular graphic that’s being passed around the internet in our day.


So how did I do this? I did this in Xara X1, a British piece of software and a very overwhelmingly underestimated graphics program that I’ve been using for over 10 years now. Stylistically, it’s a vector-based graphics program that can be used to create very complex or very simple graphics very quickly. The program itself uses very little memory. It can be used in combination with Adobe Photoshop and other industry standards to create stunning, clean results. The graphics it creates are highly scalable, allowing shapes and images to be resized easily, and the program offers tools and features that in my experience other graphics programs haven’t implemented yet.

Step 1: I first tried to create the basic outline of the graphic and see what I could do with it. After conceptualizing my wireframe I decided to start over and create an equilateral triangle (with the QuickShape Tool which draws polygons) as the base in order to set the circles at equal distance at the nodes of the triangle.

Step 2: I then used the Rectangle Tool to draw the connecting lines to each circle, rotating some, and filling the center with transparency to eye the distances and make connections at each node. This was used also to create the “Is” lines.

Step 3: I then filled in the transparency with white once I could judge the proportions were correct to create the solid image.

Step 4: The last step was to add the font. I chose Franklin Gothic Book since it is sans serif but still retains the look and feel of a serif-styled font. The spacing of each letter of the font is slender/slim, and it compliments the circular element within the design very well. I left the “Is”s slightly larger than the “Is Not”s Lastly, I added a border in the background.

All in all, I think it turned out greatly and I’m satisfied with the results. This is the finished product:


Trinity Graphic sans Border

Without Circular Border

Trinity Graphic

With Circular Border

Trinity Graphic Alpha sans Border

With Alpha Transparency

Here are the images with and without the circular border in the background. Now to give visitors and passersby free creative reign…


Feel free (moreover, encouraged) to distribute this image is widely as you would like and to use it creatively wherever necessary. Attribution or credit to this page on this site is optional. Also, feel free to download and use the vector graphic in other formats the same way.

Download the Vectors

Right-click and choose ‘Save As’ for the following vectors:

[1] Scutum Fidei:
.ai, .gif, .jpg, .png, .tif [300 dpi], .tif [200 dpi], .xar

[2] Scutum Fidei without Border:
.ai, .gif, .jpg, .png, .tif [300 dpi], .tif [200 dpi], .xar

[3] Scutum Fidei with Alpha Transparency:

[4] Scutum Fidei with Alpha Transparency without Border:

[5] Working File (Used to create the overall graphic, with steps saved):

Other formats can be made available upon request.