It started when James Widegren and Jens Karlsson went to High School with a dream of starting an agency in New York City.
They later found themselves working with what they loved in Brooklyn, where they also met Peter Karlsson.
Then in December of 2006, at the French restaurant Brasserie Les Halles, the three Swedes founded Your Majesty with the conviction to create great work driven by equally great people.
The name actually came last
It began with an interest and fondness for coat of arms crests, the intricate details, the craftsmanship, and embedded meanings — many of which featured a Knight’s helmet on top of a shield. In 2001, James and Jens started using emblems as personal logotypes and supporting graphics for their portfolios.
A year later they developed the identity for digital agency WDDG. Soon after that regalia-inspired logotypes spread throughout the design community.
Four years later they returned to exploring regalia while collaborating on rebranding Big Spaceship.
This reignited the passion for the style, and shortly thereafter (after many tweaks) the Your Majesty symbol came about — combining a knight’s helmet with the Swedish crown.
During a Sunday brunch in Dumbo, Brooklyn, a naming exercise occurred for their future company. Many digital agencies at the time had futuristic action names like Firstborn Multimedia, Big Spaceship, 2Advanced, Blast Radius, DNA Studio, Blitz, and so on. Instead, they wanted something classic, elegant, and rich that paid homage to their Swedish monarchical heritage to set itself aside primarily in the US market. Inspiration derived from the artistic and cultural movements of the Italian Renaissance, the Romantic period, armor, and companies like multi-brand creators Acne and Tyler Brûlé’s conglomerate — first with Wallpaper magazine — and today with the multi-faceted Monocle brand.
Amidst all the references, they had grown up watching movies like Excalibur (1981), Ivanhoe (1982), and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989). What was most memorable were the stories. But what stuck, was the idealized and romanticized mystique of secret Orders, the round table of knights, the crusaders, and the theme around a modern knighthood. Belonging to a Chivalric order and walking their own path resonated with them both. Except there’s no Holy War involved, only against mediocre work.
“King”, “Queen” and “Majesty” were names being thrown around. They couldn’t use “King” because there was a Swedish company with that name. “Our Majesty” sprung to mind but it sounded too possessive. The brand had to be something greater than they themselves could belong to. So it became “Your Majesty”, a name that tells a story on its own in everyone’s minds. A word image, with perfectly symmetric Y’s at both ends and a hidden Y in the helmet visor, which Jens and Peter like to think is a martini glass. And it just happened to be fun answering the phone “Your Majesty.” The rest is future…