This project is the first truly custom family crest I have had the chance to work on. I was approached by a young lady who wanted her family's history told as a gift for her parents. She came up with an eclectic list of items to include, each one chosen to represent someone or some event, and wanted to know if I could assemble them into non-traditional crest complete with a family motto in Latin. I came up with 3 different designs, and it was pretty unanimous that this final design was "the one"...
Some of the items included in this illustration are a globe, Star of David, compass, Ohio buckeye flowers, and the family motto (an inside family joke) that says "Live casual, die fancy".
The elephant represents a family member who graduated from Tufts University.
The Florida Gator is another college refernce, and we included a lantern to represent their value of education. The rowboat is a reference to the parents first date, and a favorite tree is shown with dogwood blossoms.
The ivy symbolizes prosperity and references places the family has lived in the past. A beaver is yet another college nod to the MIT Beavers, and a sign of industry. The sun rays emanating from behind the "H" are a reference found in the state seal of Ohio.
All of these seemingly unrelated items really came together to illustrate a truly unique family story that will be enjoyed for years to come. I really enjoyed creating this piece, and have to admit it has upped my game for everything I do in the future!
Thanks for looking! You can inquire about commissioning your own custom illustration by reaching me at
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