simple family crest

Family Branding | How To Create A Family Crest

Whether we realize it or not, we’re influenced by branding all the time. When you spot Target’s red bullseye or hear McDonald’s catchy jingle, it inevitably evokes some type of reaction in you. A company’s brand relays a message about what it stands for and what we can expect.

A family crest is one way to create a brand for your family. Just as a company’s brand includes much more than a logo, you obviously can’t wrap up everything that matters to your family in a simple crest. But a family crest can act as a reminder of your family’s heritage, values, and beliefs. It’s a visual cue that connects your family and provides a sense of belonging.

If you want to get into heraldry (the study of traditional coats of arms), there are resources out there to help you trace your family’s historical coat of arms, or define the traditional symbols and colors. However, another fun and creative approach is to design a brand-new crest for your family. Whether you want to create your own family crest to welcome family members to a reunion, your home, or your digital archive, here are a few things to consider.

Getting Started

Your first step is to decide how you want to create your family crest. Do you have a family member who is up for the task, or are you interested in hiring a professional artist or graphic designer? If you’re going to work with a professional, you’ll want to make sure you’re familiar with his or her work so that you can choose a style that fits your family best. Do you want a sleek modern look, or would you prefer a more whimsical feel with hand-lettering or watercolor? The possibilities are endless, so take a look around Pinterest or Etsy to get a few ideas. You can keep it very simple or get as creative as you want. Here are a few modern twists on the family crest.

Image source: Gracelaced
Image Source: Cassie McDaniel
Image Source: Juliet Lapham

Your Family’s Brand

Before you decide on the individual elements of your crest, think about how you want to represent your family.

Ask your family:

  • What pieces of our heritage are important to preserve?
  • What’s our mission?
  • What are some things that make us unique as a family?


A traditional part of family crests is a quote or motto, which is often displayed beneath the shield on a scroll. If you don’t have a family motto or mission statement, this could be a great time to create one. Do some brainstorming with your family members. You could also opt to include your last name, initials, a verse, or when your family was established.


Next, think through what images you want to include. If you’re working with a designer, we’d recommend choosing three to five images and listing them in order of importance. This will give the designer some creative license to make your crest look as aesthetically pleasing as possible.

Ask your family:

  • What beliefs and values are important to us?
  • What do we love to do together? (Hiking, playing music, sports, traveling, cooking, etc.)
  • What places or landmarks are significant to us?
  • Do we want to represent any family members specifically? What comes to mind when you think of him/her?

Are there traditional symbols or animals that represent our values? (For example, a lion represents courage, a dove represents peace, and a bell tower represents integrity. Check out more symbols and meanings here.)


Do you have certain colors that are meaningful to your family? Maybe they are the colors of your grandfather’s home country, a state flag, or even a favorite sports team. If you don’t have a preference, you could also leave this up to the discretion of your designer.

Whether you go modern, artsy, or traditional, enjoy creating your family crest and getting to represent your family in a fun, visual way!

If you’re not sure how to create a family crest and would like help, contact us at [email protected]. Our team of creatives will put together a custom Professional Services package to meet your family’s needs.

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