Reading a Brand

Brands are easy to read, once you know how. They are read from the left to the right, from the top down, or from the outside to the inside. A definite method of identifying characters has been established.

If a letter or symbol is made backwards from its normal position, it's read as a reverse F, or whatever other letter it might be.
A letter partially over on its face or back is said to be "tumbling."
If a letter lies horizontally on its face or back, it is called "lazy."
Letters with a curving flare at the top and rounded angles are "running."
Add a dash to the left and the right at the top, and you have a "flying" letter.
Add legs and it becomes a “walking” letter.
A letter placed so that the bottom touches the inside of a curve is said to be “rocking.” In this particular instance, the brand would probably be called “anchor.”
Curves not attached to letters are known as “quarter circles,” or “half circles,” depending on the arc.
Letters or symbols formed together are called “connected.”
When a letter is below the other, then the lower symbol is said to be “swinging.” In registering brands, owners sometimes omit the “connected” or “swinging.” Thus, might be read simply Diamond J rather than Diamond Swinging J.

Besides the traditional letter and figure brands, there are some marks known as “character brands.”

For instance, this is read as the turtle brand.
This is read as the pitchfork brand.
This is read as the rocking chair brand.
This is read as the key brand.
This is read as the spade brand.
This is read as the ladder brand.

The reading of picture brands depends upon the owner's interpretation, and it takes an expert to identify some of the more complex marks.

Callin' brands quiz:

Three brands are presented for your "callin'." Lets see how you do!

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