Design Themes for Charts

A Relation Creations' print is constructed from a theme, which determines the overall look and feel of the chart. Themes provide the graphical objects used to portray persons, the canvas the objects rest on, and the border color surrounding the canvas. When ordering, the theme and each of its elements are chosen for the family tree chart.

A family tree print that we will use for discussion.

To explain themes and the choices that are made when ordering a relation creation, we will use the relation creation to the right, which is made from the "Zen Rocks" theme. This theme uses smooth river stones to represent the family tree's persons. The stones lie in river gravel, and the color chosen for the border matches the calm nature of the theme.

Theme Elements

Themes are made from three elements, person objects, canvases, and borders. After registering and uploading a family tree, which are both explained on other pages, ordering is a simple matter of selecting a theme, choosing one of the theme's sets of person objects, and selecting a canvas and border. The canvas and border are selected as a pair to ensure that the border color is a good match for the canvas.

  • A theme's set of person objects
  • A theme's canvas
  • A theme's border
  • The resultant relation creation print
    Relation Creation

The choices for the elements in our themes have been carefully designed to work together to produce a pleasing combination, so not all choices within a theme are available for all of the theme's elements. For example, a canvas designed to work for one set of person objects may not be appropriate for another set of person objects.

Person Objects

A theme's motif is taken from the images used to represent the genealogy chart's persons. We call these images person objects. For example, our pine cone theme uses pine cones to depict persons and our citrus theme uses lemons and limes. The person objects come in sets, and one of a theme's person object sets is chosen when ordering. Some themes have one set of objects while others have several.

  • Set of person objects: black
  • Set of person objects: white
  • Set of person objects: black and white
    Black & White

Our example relation creation uses the "Zen Rocks" theme. This theme has three sets of persons objects, "White", "Black", and "Black and White". White and black are general descriptions of the stones' colors. The stones are usually more light colored or dark colored than white or black, and they often include spots and striations of other colors. This makes the stones more visually interesting than being solid white or black. The example chart uses the "Black and White" set.


Choices for the theme's canvase.
Dark Gravel

The theme's person objects are drawn on a canvas, which is simply a background that works with the objects to complete the theme's look. Person objects have their own set of canvases to choose from. Usually there is a choice between several canvases. The "Black and White" set of person objects for the "Zen Rocks" theme has only one choice. It is a bed of dark gravel, which is mostly dark but includes a scattering of lighter colored pebbles so the black stones used for persons will have better contrast with the canvas.


Each canvas has two or more choices for border colors. This is so the family tree chart can be matched to a room's interior design. During ordering the border and the canvas are chosen as a pair, but for explanation purposes we will consider them as separate.

The available border colors are designed to complement the colors of the person objects and canvas. Before ordering, it is a good idea to consider where the relation creation will be placed so that the best matching border color can be chosen.

  • A manilla colored border for prints
  • A steel colored border for prints
  • A dirt colored border for prints

The "Dark Gravel" canvas used in our example has has three border colors, manilla, steel, and dirt. The manilla and dirt colors can be chosen to give the design an earthy tone while the steel lends a cooler temperature to the design.