Ideas for a cattle brand design include initials inside a simple shape, letters with decorative flourishes and rotated or connected letters. Cattle brands should be easy to identify and remember but difficult to alter. The brand designer should also consider where on the body he wishes to brand his cattle.
Used throughout history as a way to designate ownership of livestock, cattle brands follow a long-standing tradition of design standards. Most begin as letters, usually the owner's or ranch's initials, in a bold, simple font. The designer may add serifs such as wings or feet to make the letters unique, and he may place the letters within a shape, such as a diamond, circle or heart. He may also add additional lines, crosses, numbers or arcs to further differentiate the design. Letters in a brand can be upright, reversed or sideways, also known as "lazy."
Well-designed cattle brands are simple and bold, which makes the brand easy to read while minimizing the animal's pain during branding. Because brands must be registered with the owner's state of residence and so many brands have been registered, most new brand designs must include at least three characters to be unique. Each character on a properly-designed brand should be four inches long. Some states require owners to brand animals on a specific part of the body while others allow the owner to decide where to place the brand.