South American Seal Designs

saccade's picture

Hi,
I've been asked to create a seal for a community in Ecuador. First design was judged "too scandinavian" and sophisticated/abstract and a more local sensory style was wished.

Now my question: How do seals look like in south american tradition?
What symbols, abstractions, reductions and content is used?
What's the local style for a seal?

It would be nice if some examples could be posted. So I can see the surrounding field.
Can anyone help?
Thanks!

guifa's picture

I'd imagine (perhaps quite wrongly) that their design follows that of Iberia. Generally you'd have some symbol/coat of arms/etc with the name of the organization or person going around it in a circle and potentially a latin phrase or a subdeparment name. I don't know what scandinavian seals look like so I can't really make a comparison.

kentlew's picture

No offense intended, but why don't they have a local designer do it, if local style is what's desired? At the very least, you might try to identify a local designer to collaborate/consult with you and your agency.

saccade's picture

Thanks for the answers!

@kentlew: I also thought of this, but the task was initially handed over to me and though we talked about it (especially after first design) it wasn't an option for now.
If so I'd gladly propose(d) it to this list to find one.
I'll probably post images if I'm a step further.

And: I'm still interested in the actual "seal language" over there, so if someone has an example at hand and if it doesn't bother too much to post a small image I'd be very glad!

Ricardo Cordoba's picture

Are these helpful?

Examples from Ecuador

Examples from Mexico

The majority of these examples are seals (or shields) from state or provincial governments.

guifa's picture

Ah, I was thinking of seals (sellos) no seal/coat of arm (escudo). Maybe it's just 'cause I'm designing my own one right now.

Ricardo Cordoba's picture

"Sellos" was my first thought, too! We'll see what saccade says. :-)

saccade's picture

Hi Ricardo Cordoba, hi guifa,

thanks for those examples!
Sorry for letting you wait more than a week, but I've been very busy and then on a conference for some days.

My question regards seals for documents, that means: Metal stamps used with ink or used embossing the paper to give a special authorization to a document, e.g. a contract or legal issue, or state's documents.
So it's normally a round seal with an average diameter of 30 mm to maximum 40 mm.

So the examples are helpful - some of them are very interesting and lead me a step forward - but the general collection not quite meets my central questions.

Regarding the material and technical conditions: Stamps used with one color or as emboosing stamps with no color.
So there is a reduced amount of possible visualizations.
And then the question: What symbols? What kind of visual language is used?

Let's say you wanted to visualize trustworthiness, reliability, local rootedness, or whatever - what would you put in your seal and in what manner?

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