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Family History As Art: Family Tree Graphic Design by a Stanford PhD Candidate

Family History As Art: Family Tree Graphic Design by a Stanford PhD Candidate

We believe in the power of displaying family history as art. We believe what you put on your walls says something about your priorities, and what you want others to know about you as well as what you like to be reminded of yourself. What does what's on your wall say about you?

Now let's take a step back. You can decide for yourself what you value, what your priorities are and what you want to have displayed on your wall. But whatever you choose, chances are you'd like it to be beautiful. If you want to hang a genealogy wall chart, for example, you'll want it to be readable, beautifully proportioned and pleasing to the eye. That's where family tree graphic design comes in.

You may not know this, but my husband Kesler (who is the other half of this team and built our family tree maker!) is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Stanford University in the field of human-computer interaction (HCI). The name is fairly self-explanatory. HCI is the study of how humans interact with computers and how that interaction can be improved. His specific area of study? Promoting creativity in design and helping novice designers create beautiful designs. 

Family Tree Prints isn't part of his research, but his expertise factored into how he built on family tree maker to ensure that you can truly create a genealogy wall chart worthy of classifying as "family history as art". Did you know that some constraints actually improve creativity? True story! Think of our family tree maker app as your assistant in family tree graphic design, and then use these 2 super-easy-to-follow hints I snagged from an expert to make sure your chart is picture perfect!

Hint #1: Spacing is king.

Yes, you want the names to be readable, but you also need to give them a little breathing room, so don't be afraid to make your generation's cells bigger to create some space! Make sure you check before downloading your chart that you don't have names that are so long they're running out of their cells too (unless that's the edgy look you're going for! Another place this is hugely importing is when adding a text decal. In general, you'll want to leave some space between the bottom of the chart and where you start your text decal.

Hint #2: Choose a readable font.

Mostly this means choosing an NON-CURSIVE font for the whole of your chart. Our family tree maker already constrains you in your font choices--remember constraints breed creativity--but we did still give you some cursive options. If you're a big fan of cursive, we highly recommend using one of the cursive fonts for a big, gorgeous text decal and choosing a more readable font for the body of the chart. Don't forget, however, this is a general guideline, not a hard a fast rule.

Ready to make your very own genealogy wall chart? I thought so! Choose the template you'd like to start from here. 


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Family History As Art

Family History As Art

You can tell a lot about a person by what they have displayed on their walls. It's what's important to them, what they think is beautiful, what they want to be reminded of, what they want other people to know and think about them at a glance? Have you ever taken a moment to ask yourself what your walls tell others about you? Does what you have hanging on your walls bring you joy? Does it reflect the things that matter most to you? Certainly food for thought.

My primary "job" is being a stay-at-home mom, so I spend a lot of time at home. Before we had baby F and I was gone most of the day, my husband Kesler had a much lower threshold for mess than I did, but now that it's my primary environment, my desire to have home be a pleasant and inspiring place to be has rapidly increased. (Don't worry mom, I was never a TOTAL slob.) I want it to be a place that all of us feel peace, joy, love and inspiration. With my experience growing up with a large family history chart placed prominently in our home and after reading Emory University's study about the positive impact knowing their family history has on children, I knew that I wanted a gorgeous pedigree chart to feature prominently in our home decor. I wanted it to serve as a visual reminder that we are a part of something bigger and of the sacrifices, triumphs and failures of those who came before us. But I also knew that I wanted it to look fantastic alongside the framed wedding picture we already had, and my the more modern and bold artwork we already had going on in the living room. It needed to be a work of art in and of itself. Enter Family Tree Prints. Woot woot!

family history as art

By using family history as art, you share an important message, both with those who enter your home and those who reside within it. The specific message it conveys is up to you, but in general I believe it speaks to a love for family and an appreciation for your heritage. Even more important than what it says about you, however, is what it says to you. 

Which of our charts would be the best starting point for your home decor?

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