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Just over 50 years ago, in May of 1968, I dabbled with a Calligraphy pen and lettered ken brown in about 5 minutes or less on a piece of art board. I inked a crude feather through my name, added a couple of square boxes, and the name of my little moonlighting business....Studio of Hand Lettering. I stuck it in a drawer and that was that! The liquid paper and pasteup were for the printer; his camera to reproduce it for printing could not 'see' that stuff.

At that time, I had been doing Calligraphy for 7 years as a sideline way of earning a few dollars here and there. Everything was an original....poems, scriptures, birthday cards, banners, invitations, etc. My work was always signed but I had nothing but my signature on each piece; usually a date was added very small near my name.

Two years later, in 1970, Gail and I decided to produce a line of parchment prints with my Calligraphy with her pen & ink drawings to enhance the lettering and message. That's when it was time to take the logo to the printer to incorporate into the credit line of each print. The Studio of Hand Lettering was kept for early business cards but not used on prints.

The logo as seen on this 1972 print was reproduced hundreds of thousands of times on our broad line of parchment prints that were sold nationwide in arts and crafts stores for the then-popular decoupage craze. We were the only ones in the U.S. producing pen & ink art with Calligraphy. Unpolished though my lettering was, it was good enough that lots of folks loved and purchased the prints. I've always said that without Gail's work to enhance my Calligraphy, I'd still be a hack letterer!

Around 1985 I modified the feather to a cleaner, more graphic appearance. I dropped the boxes, and it became as shown below. This version has been reproduced millions of times on prints, magazine articles, magazine ads, Calligraphy markers and kits, and many other places. It is now in wider use than ever.

NOW....let's fast forward to the hand-engraving I do and teach with a dental drill. Annually, I engrave six to eight thousand wine bottles. They're done quickly and there is no time or way to get this current version of the ken brown logo on wine bottles at the time I hand-engrave them, hour after hour after hour.

For the past 26 years, on every fragrance bottle and wine bottle I've engraved, I've hastily added my signature with the drill. It has always been a priority to sign the bottles so people could find me if they wanted more!

During this whirlwind Christmas season, the pressure was so great that I realized if I signed only my first name, I could save a few seconds and some hand motion on every bottle. I dropped my last name about 2,000 bottles ago.

Then I wondered if people who had never heard of me could find me with only a first name. They can.

BOTTOM LINE: Though you probably don't have the exposure I've had for so long, make it a big deal to put your name on everything you do. If you have a clever moniker you'd rather use than your name, use it! Spread it around on business cards, your website....SURELY you have a site! Put it anywhere you can to familiarize people with you and your work.

NOW....Do a little experiment. Google the following or something similar: Ken signed my wine bottle

Take a screen shot of the first 6 listings from your search. Email that screen shot to me: Include your snail mail address. I'll send you a small knife with your name engraved on one side of the blade and my signature and date on the other side. Let me hear from you. I have about 50 knives so spread the word!


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