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Patrick Breton, CGD

Senior Designer // Art Director

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Breton Family crest [1669]

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The Breton Family crest


I am very lucky that there is a lot of history available online for my family. Here is a glimpse at my ancestor's story.

Family Record: Jean Elie dit Breton (1621 - 1699)

Jean Elie was born around 1621 in Meneac, Vannes, St-Malo, Brittany, France, and died on Wednesday, December 16, 1699 in St Jean, Orleans Island, Quebec. He was the son of Jean Helie and Jeanne Meusnier.

Meneac, France: https://goo.gl/maps/xAZY4

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He emigrated around 1666 to New France. After the expiration of his servitude commitment in Canada, which lasted the usual thirty-six months, Jean Elie obtained a farm to work in Orleans Island, Quebec.

Orleans Island, Quebec: https://goo.gl/maps/4W0Ir

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Jeanne Labbé a "fille du roi", arrived in New France in the summer of 1669. On Thursday, November 28, 1669, Abbot Thomas Morel celebrated the union of Jeanne and Jean Elie in the church of Ste-Famille.
The ceremony was one of great simplicity, with two witnesses: Jean-Elie Gauthier and Claude Lefebvre
dit Boulanger.

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ef3ed2ca1669 Marriage Record25ff1428

Jeanne and Jean Elie had five children, all born in Saint-Jean parish on the island. They were baptized
at the church at Ste-Famille. They may be listed as follows.

- François Elie dit Breton, Jeanne Elie dit Breton, Pierre Elie Dit Breton, Marie Madeleine Elie dit Breton
and Jacques Elie dit Breton.

Jean Elie was about seventy-eight years old when he died on December 16, 1699. Ancestress Jeanne Labbe survived her husband by almost sixteen years. She was buried at Saint-Vallier on 27 May 1715.

The crest of the family of Jean Elie dit Breton was originally designed by Father Lucien Godbout, professor at the "Petit Séminaire de Québec". He was a member of the Royal Heraldry Society of Canada. See reference below.

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The symbolic and rational of my family crest have been defined by Lucien Godbout. My goal was to redesign a modern, simplified and unified version of the Breton Family crest. I used simple shapes to keep the graphic elements consistent. Also, since my background is print I wanted to make sure that my Family crest would be legible when reproduced at very small sizes.

The Breton Family crest is made of three symbols: the ermine spots, the grape vines and the wheat stalks.

The key element of the crest is the ermine, which represents my ancestor's origin. The design of the ermine can vary, but the versions most frequently seen are shown below.

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To improve the legibility of the ermine symbol, I increased the clear space area around the ermine spots. Also, I added the computer arrow cursor that is representative of my work to give it a modern touch.

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a8fc781cErmine spot construction: ermine [inspiration] + cursor = refreshed erminebd4ce471

SHIELD: the construction shapes and alignments.

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Here are the elements of the Breton Family crest:

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1. Pall (or pairle) is a Y-shaped heraldic charge, normally having its arms in the three corners of the shield.

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2. Chief = ermines

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3. Grape Vines: the Orleans Island is one of the first settled sites in the New France colony. In 1535, explorer Jacques Cartier named the island "Bacchus Isle" because of the many grapes growing there. Bacchus means god of wine in ancient Greece.  A year later Jacques Cartier renamed the island to Orleans Island in honour of the Duke of Orleans (son of King François I).

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4. Wheat: the five wheat stalks represent the five children of Jeanne and Jean Elie.

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Ermine + grape vine + wheat stalk

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The BRETON wordmark and motto typeface is FF DIN Light. It’s a recall of the stripes on the Britanny flag and it is in line with the graphic elements of the crest.

FF DIN Light was designed by Albert-Jan Pool, Achaz Reuss:

http://www.fontshop.com/fonts/downloads/fontfont/ff_din_ot_light/

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The Breton Family motto: Steadfast in Service

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Color palette

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Exploration: old-fashioned printing press treatment

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Please comment and offer any feedback!

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