• Signs of the Guild-Artisan


Which era, epoch, or eon of time: ignites your curiosity and inspires ongoing investigation?

Directly Below > pages 38 – 39, from the text: “The Animated Alphabet,” by Hugues Demeude, and the illuminated initial capitals (on these pages): taken from the Alphabet of Mary of Burgundy (the scribe is still under speculation), France, 1480:

2_Mary of Burgundy

Colophons and printer’s marks, like guild crests, signs and insignia, represented a large cluster of working citizens throughout society, with professionals employed as: printers, publishers, scribes, carvers, engravers, painters, sculptors, masons, builders, carpenters, architects, stonecutters, glassmakers, potters/ceramicists, blacksmiths, goldsmiths, silversmiths, metal smiths, metallurgists, tinkers, locksmiths, forgers, barbers (in secret: alchemists, healers, chemists…), merchants, traders, tanners, tailors, shoemakers, weavers/cloth makers, apothecaries… all skilled craftsman and craft-laborers, with artistic and/or scientific ingenuity providing technical innovations that led to masterpieces, discoveries, inventions, patents, agreements… trade laws, workshops, institutions of learning, businesses… corporations (as well as fixed-prices, trade secrets and often monopolies, later dissolved by anti-trust laws), sometimes culminating into trade unions.

Guild members were known as apprentices, craftsmen/journeymen, masters/ grandmasters and eventually as ‘artisans,’ leading to a mercantile culture (helping to establish, especially: western economies), for at least 500 years…


Some guilds that have survived are found in the education system, and colleges and universities can offer one example:


Introduction to Artisan + Guild Printer’s Marks, Crests, Insignia, Signs and Colophons…






While collecting symbols and signs, consider the signifier at the core of each identifying concept below > taken from texts: “Megg’s History of Graphic Design,” Abrams’ Discoveries: (publication series) “Alchemy: The Great Secret” and “Signs, Symbols, and Ciphers,” and “Font. The Sourcebook” (by various authors)  >