How to choose a logo as a Mandarin translator
Have you noticed the red symbol on the heading, in the upper-left corner?
Sworn translation and Chinese culture
When the time came to choose a logo for my personal brand, I had a clear idea in my mind. As a sworn translator, I wanted it to represent my profession. But I needed to include my 13-year journey with Mandarin and Chinese culture. I wanted both to be clear in one glance. And then, my logo was born: a red ink seal with a Chinese character.
In Chinese history, stamps are a common symbol of power. A seal is usually carved in jade or similar semi-precious stones and then decorated with traditional motives or images. They had a higher relevance than stamps and signatures in the West, and they used to represent family dynasties, state offices and even the imperial power. Both stamps and seal carvings have a great artistic and cultural value.
And a sworn translator needs her seal, right?
Chinese character 墨
The Chinese character inside the seal is 墨 (mò), ink. It’s composed of two ideograms: 黑 (black) and 土 (soil, earth), given that the materials used to produce this famous black pigment came from the soil (from either a mineral, animal or plant origin).
From its original meaning, this character is associated with calligraphy and drawing, both art forms in which ink was a staple. Therefore, because it was the main took for writing, it also represents literacy and learning.
It’s worth mentioning that this character appears in the name of a famous philosopher from the late 5th-century b. C., Mozi 墨子. And his Mohist school of thought was highly influential during the Spring and Autumn Period and the Warring States Period (770 – 221 b. C.).
A meaningful name
Then, why did I choose this character in particular?
You see, when the time came from me to choose my Chinese name, I hardly chose this character for its deep meaning!
I saw it in my Mandarin for Beginners textbook, in the transliteration of Mexico, and thought to myself: “nice one”. I actually wanted my Chinese name to begin with an M. Later, when I researched its meaning, I viewed it as a small tribute to my grandma’s nationality. She’s also the person I know who’s read the most. Who would have thought that one day it would prove to be such a useful choice? As they say in Mandarin, 是有缘分, “it’s fate”.
I hope you have enjoyed learning a bit about me and about China!