fealty: Stemming from the Latin word “fidelitas,” the noun fealty is related to “fidelity,” and is another way of saying “loyalty” or “faithfulness.”
Too busy to read the whole thing? In a nutshell, I was lucky enough to get a custom designed family crest. You can too! My friend Julie has started a new venture, Fealty Design to help families craft their unique identity. The first five readers who mention this blog post can get 10% off a family crest for themselves, or as the most-super-awesome Christmas/wedding gift ever!
From my earliest days, I’ve loved the sense of identity and continuity that come from my family name. The Johnstone family crest is the “winged spur” with the Latin “Nuquam Non Paratus” or “Never Unprepared”. The legend is this is because my border reiver family brought swords to church, in case someone tried their own tricks on them. But when I “cleaved” to my husband and gave up my maiden name I didn’t quite feel as connected to his crest. And our family heraldry fell somewhat to the wayside.
My beloved friend and neighbor Julie is an associate creative director and designer for world-class brands. We commuted to Boston together for years, and got to know each other’s work very well. Our kids have been friends practically all their lives. The Shulmans ALWAYS win the “best Christmas card” award on our bulletin board, to the point of permanent disqualification due to lack of amateur status. Back in the spring, Julie and I were talking and she shared an idea with me. While she’s responsible for some amazing brands, she really misses the opportunity to do entirely new design. I’d long seen and admired the family crest she’d designed for her family – did I think anyone else would be interested in having her do the same thing for them?
After shouting “YES YES YES!” I, ahem, generously offered to be the first test case. I think it’s a brilliant idea. It seems like the whole world is trying to answer the question, “Who am I?” We want to belong, to be a part. We want for things to have meaning. And at the same time, we want to be unique and individual. Julie’s work creating family crests captures all that – connection and individuality. Heritage and uniqueness.
The first stage was a questionnaire. It was fun to go through this as a family and think about who we were and what it meant to be “us”. Even though Julie knows me as well as anyone does, I found it interesting to really think about what it meant to be part of our family and be explicit about it. (You can walk through the questions yourself for fun!) I sent it to her and tried really hard not to text her every five minutes to see how it was going. There was a fun anticipation to see what someone makes of you!
Not long after my curiosity was sated! Julie sent me this gorgeous response with the key words she thought of, the colors that came to mind, the “mood board” that inspired her designs, and finally – three crest options. I loved the mountains and the camels, but there was no doubt in anyone’s mind about the one that was ours – the celtic knot and six-sided die, showing 4 pips (one for each member of the family).
Julie and I went back on fourth on questions about color (not a strong point of mine), and then she returned me a final version of the crest with versions for dark backgrounds, light backgrounds, and a single color version. I was frankly thrilled. Then, the shopping spree began!
We talked a lot about what sort of things I wanted with the logo on it. We had a long email thread I titled “Genius Idea!” when I figured out I could get etched glasses with it! My final selections are what ended up being the “Team Us!” package. In all packages you get the original, high quality image files to use in any applications you want. (Helllooooo Christmas cards!). Julie will also work with you if you have a genius idea I didn’t come up with first that you’d like her help to make a reality.
Here’s the Fealty page showing the first set of ideas on how to use this beautiful design!
The goal of Fealty is to extend these beautiful, personal images past our street, and into your homes. Julie is a compassionate, curious and world class designer who wants to bring the same warmth and meaning into your family that she’s crafted for her family (and mine!). If you are interested for your family, or as a gift to a family you love, the first five people to sign up and mention this blog post will get a 10% discount!