Some examples of ranch names include humorous titles, such as "Ache-N-Back Acres" and "Fallingdown Farm," while others use geographical features of the land in their name, such as the "Rocky Ridge Farm" owned by pioneer and author Laura Ingalls Wilder. Brands are decoded by characters and character flourishes, such as an sideways "8," which is referred to as a lazy eight.
Other examples of flourishes added to brands include characters with wings, often used to denote the word "flying." For example, an upright letter A with wings on the top is called "the flying A." Brands often reflect the name of the ranch associated with them. The brand "flying A" may belong to the Flying A Ranch, for example.
Individuals registering a brand need to contact a county clerk's office to obtain a form and file for registration. Brands are typically based on four types of markings: letters of the alphabet, numbers, lines and circles, and pictures. A combination of these can be used as well. In addition, the angle of a brand can be significant; the capital letter A can be tilted to the side to indicate the name "tumbling A," for example. State and provincial livestock brand agencies often have legal requirements for designing a registered brand.