Chop chop!

I’ve never been sure what to do with my artwork when signing it, and I’ve never had a logo that I’m happy with. Recently I’ve been looking at a lot of printmaking – linocut and drypoints mainly – and I noticed that a lot of printmakers use a little (often red) block to sign their work – this is called a ‘chop’.

This is what Google tells us:

This is an special marking, or signature, used to identify prints from a studio, and it’s usually either printed or embossed somewhere on a print. Each printer made their own chop, or signature.

Chops have a long heritage – here is a link which gives you some background about them throughout history.

Examples of chops are easily found on Pinterest and elsewhere, and there are many useful websites for those of you who are interested in them. Here are a couple of links I enjoyed looking at:

An emblem, a chop, a logo?

Although I have a background in book editing and did some layout and design work as park of my job in publishing, I’m not formally trained in design (having studied fine art and publishing). I do have a very strong interest in graphic design, and Japanese and Chinese art.

I began playing around with my initials – C and S – and suddenly it seemed to make sense that they would work in the style of a chop. It won’t work as a signature for my graphite drawings and other artwork that’s more fine art than graphic or colourful, but it could be a great logo for stickers, flyers and so on. I might even be able to carve myself a tiny chop to use on artwork. I thought I’d have a play around on paper first.

Here is my first draft, painted in Kuretake Gansai watercolour with the aid of some masking fluid and washi tape (slightly cheating as it’s not carved and printed, but I can have a play with it). I’ll live with it for a little while and once I decide that it’s useful, I’ll probably refine it some more. You might have noticed that I sneakily added it to my homepage.

I like the imperfection of it, though. That aspect reflects me, too. 🙂

Cara 15.03.19

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