Having a family emblem is a crucial element to achieving longevity within a generational wealth family. It is a symbol that represents your family as a whole, represents your unity and what your family believes in. It is a presentation of your culture, with symbolism woven within it. A decision which should not be taken lightly and can take months if not years to formulate. This page will serve as a resource to get you started, I’ve also created supporting pieces which you can find under the appropriate headings on this page.
It isn’t necessarily a top priority to create a family emblem when you are first establishing your dynasty. First, you build your knowledge on generational wealth, establish and grow your four types of capital(Human, Intellectual, Social, and Financial), create a council and mission statement, and choose a method to build wealth. And these are just a few among countless other things, all of which you will find here on Dynastus.
But once you do have it, it is a symbol which you can hang on your wall, inscribe on your heirlooms, ice on your cakes as well as countless other applications. It can be painted inside your family sanctuary, sit on your letterheads and help build your families reputation and social capital.
How and when create your family emblem is going to be largely up to you and your family. The creation of your family emblem is a task that will most likely rest on the shoulders of the founding parents of your dynasty. Read on to find out how to create this representation of your family a reality.
Choosing a Family Symbol
The selection of the symbol that represents is the most crucial step in creating your family emblem. Every culture has a different meaning behind animals, plants and symbols that can be used in the creation of a family emblem. Choosing one or a combination of these symbols is the first, and often most difficult stage, in creating a complete emblem.
More importantly that what your symbols mean to others, is what these elements mean to you and your family history. If you are the founding parent of your dynasty, you may opt to start fresh and choose things that have meaning to your family. For example, you may add a bow and arrow as a part of your symbol as that’s how you and your partner met, or its the sport your children excel at. You may add a bear to represents the strength it took to overcome hardship through your families unique adversity. You may choose an oak tree for the longevity it represents as well as the abundance its acorns provide.
This said, you don’t want to approach the selection of symbols from a purely narcissistic angle. For example, a gun pointed at an animal may have a meaning to your family as a culture of hunters, but may have a different meaning interpreted when your family donates to a nature reserve for poached animals.
There is a supplemental resource I have created, that outlines some of the meanings behind various animals and symbols. Learn about choosing a family symbol here.
This is the emblem of the Rothschild Foundation. Note the arrows tied together. These originate from their heraldric crest. Arrows represent readiness, and the fact they are tied together, to me at least, represents unity.
Choosing a Family Color
The next most important selection in your family emblem, past choosing the symbol or symbols to represent a message, is the color or colors you incorporate into your emblem.
Every color has a meaning behind it, but these meanings tend to vary across cultures. For example red in western society means warning, or danger. But in Chinese culture, red means wealth.
Unlike symbol selection, choice of color is going to largely depend on where your family chooses to base itself. You don’t want to choose a color of prosperity from a different culture, that will misrepresent your family in your current country – unless that is you are symbolizing your country of origin in your emblem. As you can imagine, its a complex issue that is largely up to you to decide on.
I’ve written have a specific piece of family colors. You can read the complete guide to family color selection here.
Forming a Family Motto
Much like a country, a company or any sort of organization, a family motto serves as a collaborative inspirational phrase that represents a set of beliefs your family stands by.
A lot of families opt to put this below their emblem, as is found in heraldic symbolism of the middle ages. Others choose to keep it separate.
A lot of families hang their motto over the threshold of their house as a way to represent their family ‘territory’. This also inspires family members young and old as they come home, or return to the family sanctuary.
Language is another important selection too. You want to make sure the language you choose is important to your heritage both historically and going forward. If your parents grew up in a Spanish speaking country, but you never intend to move back to one, then maybe your current primary language is a better choice for the future of your family. Again, it’s down to how you choose to build your family culture moving forward, while respecting the past.
You can read up on creating a Family Motto here.
History of Your Family Emblem
If your family background is rich with a diverse, traceable culture, you may choose to implement this into your family emblem. Perhaps you have a rich Scottish background, and choose to create a family crest implementing elements of heraldry into your family emblem instead.
A lot of families have a coat of arms that can be traced back and rebuilt using various services. While this can be a good start or a good replacement for a modern family emblem, it isn’t going to fill the purpose of a family emblem as well.
This is because it isn’t something that is starting with your new dynasty, it isn’t something that represents the culture you are working towards building today. Instead, you can draw inspiration from this and implement it into your new family emblem.
You can still respect your family history and keep the family crest as well as your new logo. There are no hard rules here.
This is the Rothschild Family Coat of Arms. Note how they use the arrows found here, which represent readiness, in their foundation logo as well.
When to Create your Family Emblem
Much like finding a family sanctuary, there is no perfect time to design and decide on a family emblem. If you have the resources and an established family life and culture, there’s no reason you can’t create one right now.
If you’re still establishing what generational wealth means to you, then that is no issue either. There’s nothing stopping you from beginning to think about the design and symbolism of your family emblem now.
It is important to take your time to decide on an emblem that you really want. Contracting a professional to help you with this may be worthwhile if you aren’t quite sure where to begin. And when it comes to an actual finished product, you almost always want to employ a graphic artist as a contractor to help you create the finished product.
Bringing it All Together
When you have finally decided on your symbols, colors, and motto for your family emblem, you need to bring it all together.
Simply putting the symbols right next to each other on a piece of paper probably isn’t going to work all that well aesthetically and metaphorically. You need to make the colors and symbols to interact and be pleasing to the eye.
Starkly contrasting colors can result in an ugly representation of something that should be aesthetically pleasing,
You will want to employ color theory to get your colors to align. There are plenty of great websites that will help you accomplish this. Click here to see my favorite.
Try to stick to two or three colors, and layer them, rather than use a gradient. Gradients are not as strong or bold as linear, fixed colors. You can also put the colors at odds(with stripes or a 50/50 line for example), or incorporate them into the symbol(colored eyes, multi-colored tree, outlined feather etc).
Choose a color to be your primary, and the others to be supporting colors. Make sure your primary color represents what is most important to put on display about your family.
The incorrect orientation will make your family symbols look as though they are at odds, rather than in harmony. Getting your symbols to meld is another exciting challenge in family emblem creation. There are countless approaches to making this happen, but a few of my favorites are below:
- Interaction: You can make making them interact directly, such as having a horse climbing a mountain.
- Chimera: There’s also a chimera approach, melding the symbols into one singular entity with elements form both. An example of this is a tortoise with arrows springing from it’s shell.
- Shapeshifter: A different approach is the shapeshifter, Turning one symbol into another. For example having a dog head turn into a feather.
Contracting an outsider to assist you is incredibly helpful in most cases. Especially as you’ll be getting an external opinion on the matter.
If this is something you’re interested in getting my help with, be sure to contact me.
The Family Emblem
The family emblem is an integral part of creating a dynasty. It serves as a cornerstone, physical representation of your family that will be front-facing to the world. You can put it on family heirlooms, jewelry, clothing, letterheads and just about anything else your family will use or use to interact with the world.
Once you have decided on a family emblem, remember that it’s here to stay and as a part of your family constitution, it should be near impossible to alter. So people you never even meet will be using it far into the future.
It’s both important you don’t rush the process, but don’t procrastinate forever either. It’s an exciting and fascinating process to dive into, that once completed, will last for generations.
Thanks for reading. Yours,