Beyond Limitation

Offering refinement, nuance and differentiation

Some version of twelve fundamental archetypes have been in use since Margaret Mark and Carol Pearson's seminal work, The Hero and The Outlaw. While having sixty choices may seem daunting at first, expanding the fundamental twelve into five archetypes to a family allows users to achieve greater nuance, sophistication and resonance. The hope is that not limiting the archetypal story, business might be incentivized to a more holistic and authentic way of being in the world.

We encourage our clients to develop unique brand characters. Whether this is accomplished using 12 or 60 is less important than the shared ownership that comes with the exploration and commitment possible using an archetypal lens.

Another change from Mark & Pearson's work is that Archetypes in Branding updates the fundamental twelve to include The Citizen, a much-needed brand embodiment in our world today. But let's be clear... it's sixty and counting. This is only the beginning... let us know what archetypes might be worth adding or refining.

Family Members

Engage any author about the process of publishing their book(s) and inevitably the conversation includes the benefits of hindsight —what they'd change if they had a mulligan today. The family groupings highlight this conversation. For example, in hindsight, the Shaman (perhaps called Wizard) might be more aligned with the Magician family than the Sage, switching places with the Engineer. The Guardian may be more aligned with the Sovereign family than the Caregiver, trading places with the Ambassador. The dialogue is proof of engagement. We are discussing ways to update and accommodate reorganization and expansion challenges. We invite you to share your thoughts and suggestions.

A hallmark of learning is that working with any concept, method or system also changes it. The collective unconscious is always shifting below the water level of our awareness, so it's not surprising that the artifacts above the water level move as well. The point is to stay curious. As Roosevelt said, the credit goes to the "man in the arena."

Additional Cards

You asked for extra sets of the archetype cards. Et voila! (sorry it took so long) Limited quantities available.


  • Rebel-Family
  • 1846293_orig
  • 6727888_orig
  • 5593472_orig
  • 945759_orig
  • lover-family
  • 2494161_orig
  • 377778_orig
  • Hero-Family
  • Explorer-Family
  • 4520603_orig
  • Caregiver-family