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Getting Creative With Pedigree Charts

Getting Creative With Pedigree Charts

I've already shared a little bit about why I'm so fond of Leif The Lucky, but since these feelings are closely linked to my experiences reading to baby F, as I was making this example of a family tree for Leif Erikson, I was thinking about children, and creativity and imagination.

Genealogy and family tree charts have long held the stigma of being for old people, but they're anything but, particularly as you get creative with them. It was this creative thinking that got us started with our line of animal pedigree charts for kids as we thought about what animals we could form from standard pedigree chart shapes.

family tree templates for kids


Since I knew that Leif "The Lucky" was a Viking explorer, I wanted to make him a pedigree chart that reflected this aspect of his life to make it the pedigree chart more meaningful and personal... and how better to do that than with a Viking boat!

leif the lucky book this little explorer

Image credit: Simon & Schuster

I started this chart from scratch in our family tree maker app rather than starting from one of the templates and chose the 180 Fan Shape that looks like the bottom half of a circle. Then I choose a color scheme that mimicked the feel of wood to create the base of the wooden boat. Add in the names via manual entry based on info I found on, add a text decal and we're almost there.

example of family tree Leif Erikson

To add the embellishments, I found an SVG of a Viking ship on The Noun Project (Viking Ship by Amber Parrow from the Noun Project) and placed it behind my chart using Figma (but any similar program such as Adobe Photoshop, Sketch, etc. will work!)

viking ship pedigree chartWhat creative pedigree charts can you create using a basic circle or fan as your starting point?

This post is part of our Art With The Chart series. 

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How To Make A Family Tree: DIY Rainbow Family Tree Chart

How To Make A Family Tree: DIY Rainbow Family Tree Chart

There are lots of DIYs these days, but did you know you can DIY within our family tree maker? That's right; the templates are just a starting point for the creative mind, although they also look fabulous without tweaking. So there's something for everyone.

A month or so ago, someone asked if we had a rainbow template since her daughter LOVES rainbows. While we don't have a template for that (yet!) for now you can DIY one and it looks absolutely fabulous! You can watch the making of the chart below in 5 minutes, but (full disclosure here) I did speed some parts up, so the entire process took me about 20 minutes, including some final tweaking I did before finalizing the chart as shown above. If you want a chart EXACTLY like this here are all the details.

Red: HEX FF6767
Orange: HEX FCB900
Yellow: HEX FCE770
Green: HEX 95D847
Blue: HEX 0693E3
Purple: HEX C371FF





To create the family tree print...

1) Start with any 7 generation fan chart.

2) Cell by cell go through and change the background color and the font color. To do that, just click on the Individual Tab in the left sidebar, and then click the color swatch under Background Color and Text Color respectively. Once you've selected those colors, click into the next cell in your chart you'd like to change and do the same thing again.

3) Once you've colored all 6 color bands, make sure the center circle has a white background, and you can play with the radius of that circle to broaden the rainbow arc on the Generation Tab (select First Generation from the drop down).

4) Final touches include changing the font size for each generation as desired to maximize readability (on the Generation Tab), changing to whatever font you'd like to use (on the Chart Tab--I used Montserrat!), and adjusting Line Width (on the Chart Tab)! Now your family tree print is complete!

This post is part of our Art With The Chart series. To view more creative ways to personalize your chart, click here or to view more tutorials, visit our Tutorial Help Center!


Let us know how your DIY Rainbow turned out in the comments below! Can you think of another clever DIY idea using a fan chart? 

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