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Anthony Reid

makers mark design

5 posts in this topic

first a bit of background I have been making knives for the last 10 years on a very now and then hobby level I have sold a few knives and used a variety of techniques and marks to identify my work. lately I have been working on streamlining my processes and getting set up to begin making more knives and other tools which will all need to be marked before leaving the shop. My question is whether or not it is crucially important to use a logo or symbol that is easily tied to me ... obviously the purpose of marking a blade is so that the maker can be identified but I see many makers using symbols or initials etc that do not immediately tell me who made the knife only that all knives bearing that mark were made by the same person so how important is it really to include name and place etc on a handmade knife or tool? is it part of your advertising plan or is it just a way to sign the blade that will be recognizable if and when you reach a popularity to reach larger audiences? Also what is the consensus on whether a makers mark needs to be particularly related to knives, forging etc? or can it be something that only has meaning to me again leaning toward the "signature" not "billboard" school of thought?

Edited by Anthony Reid

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To me, makers marks have multiple uses. It could be pride in your work, identification at later dates, and a stamp of authenticity, which ties into pride, too. It can also be for advertising; if someone wants a knife like their friend's, they can identify the maker, but unless the knife is some heirloom, chances are the owner knows the maker. Makers marks have been used all over in industries and crafts, so if you made it, put your mark on it. I like symbols over signatures. It doesn't even need to be obvious what the symbol is. My mark looks almost like a deer hoof, but it is really a half circle which represents "Rougemont" (the place I live, called Red Mountain, but more of a big hill in my opinion, hence the half circle), and a triangle in the middle, which is the alchemy symbol for fire. Having a symbol as your mark does mean that it can be harder to identify the mark if it isn't well-known, but I'm okay with that. Plus things like text can get rubbed, eroded, etc. away over time, and simple symbols can last longer as long as they are simple enough.

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Whatever you use for your maker's mark, you can register it with Blade Magazine for free. You can also make a record of it on this Forum Board in the Maker's Mark thread as well as on other knife and blade centered forums. The Blade Magazine registry is probably the first place anyone would think to look to identify a mark.

 

Nobody says you should only have one mark either. You could have a variety of them. If you want your mark to make it easy for someone to identify the work as yours, your last name works well. If you have a specific logo that means something special, you can use that and eventually it may become traceable back to you over time, or through one of the registries.

 

You could have one mark for knives, another for tools, another for objects d'art, etc.

Edited by Joshua States

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Thanks for the input guys! My original plan was to make a stamp but I found that the way I wanted to do it was not conducive to a clean mark and I can't at the moment spare the money to have a stamp made professionally and as I also make stock removal knives when the urge takes me so stamping didn't seem to be the most versatile method over a range of tools, knives and finishes etc so I decided to stick with etching which only really poses a problem on forge finished blades as the forged surface is seldom smooth enough to really etch well. That set me back a bit but I had a conversation with the guys at TUS Tech and they explained that very small text and designs could be etched cleanly with the stencils they produce so I ended up going with a few sizes of my logo and variations of my name and forge name one one stencil with one being small enough to be used on the polished spine of forge finished blades. I am told the stencils will last 1000s of impressions but time will tell on that. I am not worried as I will have everything repeated four times per stencil and new stencils are only $13 including free shipping after a one time $22 set up fee if you supply the artwork. I am kind of exited to finally have a more official marking stencil as I have always done it by hand in the past with variable results

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I received the stencils I ordered of my new mark from TUS tech and have been playing with it on some recent knives overall I am very happy with it I got a few variations in size as well as some text stencils for further marking of knives and tools I produce but the basic logo is shown in the picture

makersmark2.JPG

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