Adding some colour to the sepia-tinged family tree business


When we think of our ancestors, we think of them in black and white (and sometimes walking really fast). But, in truth, their lives were full of emotion and colour. And the reason we still think of them in sepia hues and faded black and white and stiff-backed is that it's become reliable shorthand. Old=grey.

It's not wrong, it helps set a scene quickly. But everyone does it - you only have to look at the geneaology magazines and rival websites to see it everywhere.

So, in our pitch work for Ancestry (which we won) we wanted to remind people that their forefathers (and mothers) lived these real lives, by adding colour and emotion to everything we did to bring the family history to life - but retaining credible side of ancestry over the 'lite' alternatives. Here are a couple of executions:

Badgy Fiddler 


In this first one, I discovered bizarre old job titles and occupations - a lot of which sounded a bit rude. Then asked the reader whether their ancestors were Badgy Fiddlers (a boy musician in the Army) or whatever. 

Happier Families

We used the old parlour card game to add a dash of colour to the proceedings, but still keeping an 'old' look.