Leaving a Mark: Ways to Solidify One’s Identity

woman signing a paper
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John Hancock may have the most iconic signature ever. Signatures are symbols of stature, authority, and identity. Now, we have technology that offers e-signature solutions; the Internet is also riddled with various transactions that require such validation. It may not be very clear as to who wrote the first one, but there have been ways where we, shall we say, make our marks. These are some of them:


You see these all the time when you view pictures over the Internet. A watermark can be annoying to some, it being sometimes obtrusive to the image. But it serves a purpose.

If you are a photographer or a graphic artist who wants to share your hard work, adding a watermark to your piece is proof that you are its creator. Saving pictures and using it for other purposes is done with incredible ease by anyone using the Internet. There is a great chance that you will lose distinction as the creator if you don’t mark your image.

You may associate watermarks with digital images, but their origins date back to the 19th century. Their purposes were similar. Back then, watermarks were made of thin wires shaped into various designs. These were then added to the molds, where pieces of paper were formed. This would result in the design being embedded onto it. This is mainly used to identify the paper’s manufacturing company.

Wax Seals

wax seal isolated on white background

Wax was used to seal letters back in the Medieval Times. It is melted onto the letter and is pressed by a stamp with a special design. It is this unique design that will give your identity away. It can signify your stature, letting recipients know if you come from a prominent family or place of authority.

Nowadays, the art of making seals is not lost. Hobbyists like to experiment with different wax colors and stamps. It may not have the same purpose as it had before. But it is nice to know that it is still being recognized today.


You may associate this with forensics and crime thrillers, but fingerprints are also used as a means of validation. The earliest record of using them in an official manner was in 1877 in India. This was when Sir William James Herschel was bestowed the title Magistrate and Collector at Hooghly. Back then, he was already studying about recording skin prints, and this appointment led him to implement it as a signature. Today, it is not as used in the same capacity. But those who are mobility impaired still can use their fingerprints as a way to sign.

Hand Imprints

These can be fun for kids. Do you remember the time when you saw wet cement and how bad you wanted to press your hands onto it? And you knew that you wanted people to see it. You would feel happy inside, knowing that it was you who left that mark. On the pop culture front, the most famous example of this is the Hollywood Walk of Fame. You can see handprints of the biggest stars, past and present. Those who are already gone are immortalized here and could be the closest thing you have to holding their hands.

These are basically visual identifiers, but they can also be more than that. These marks can also serve as reminders of history and legacies. Make your own mark!

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