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Chinese Characters – Seal character

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The seal is the bamboo; the hog is the sink; the hog is the shape of the elephant. Seal script, that is, the script with strong pictograph; that is, the font before the official script. The seal script is divided into a big seal and a small seal. The big seal includes oracle bone inscriptions, bronze inscriptions, inscriptions, stone drum inscriptions,… Xiaozhuan is the fine calligraphy of Li Si, the prime minister of the Qin Dynasty; it is also the font used by Qin Shihuang to implement the same text.

Seal character


The evolution of seal script

The oracle bone inscriptions were mainly written on the tortoise shell and beast bones during the divination by the king of Shang. Because the oracle bone is hard to engrave, it is rough and simple. It was buried under the Yin Ruins following the demise of the Shang Dynasty until it reappeared in 1899.


Bronze inscriptions are mainly inscriptions carved on bronzes during the Shang and Zhou dynasties. Also called “inscription”, or ” Zhong Dingwen “, or “Yi Wen”. Because of its complex historical background and different styles.


Pingwen generally refers to Zhou dynasty characters other than bronze inscriptions. Those who have left in the Zhou Dynasty handwriting on bamboo slips.

The evolution of seal script

Shigu text, the pre-Qin text was left in Shigu and got its name.


The small seal is at the top of the seal script because of its smart strokes and correct fonts. Xiaozhuan was replaced by official script because of its neatness and time-consuming writing.


The official script is a typeface produced by quickly writing, disassembling the line strokes of the previous Chinese characters into dots, horizontally and vertically, and then writing them in a convenient position.


The official script ended the development of seal script to a higher level. However, Xiaozhuan has extremely high artistic value and has been widely used in seal cutting and calligraphy works, and had a relatively prosperous horizontal development period in the Qing Dynasty.


Representative figures and works

Cangjie, the legendary creator of Chinese characters.

Representative figures and works

Li Si, the prime minister of the Qin Dynasty, the originator of Xiaozhuan. Only Taishan Kuaiji stone inscriptions survive.


Getting started with calligraphy in seal script

Seal script is the natural embodiment of early Chinese characters. Its brushwork is simple and smooth; its shape is intentional and its book is interesting.


Practicing calligraphy begins with seal script; after the clouds and flowing water, the official script sees itself; then the script is executed, and then the regular script.


Calligraphy enthusiasts don’t want to be the same.


Copy the regular script directly, just write.

Seal script exercises


Seal stickers

Oracle Seal Bronze Inscriptions compiled dictionary Yishan monument Changshuo Deng Shiru Zhao Zhijian.


Seal script exercises

Before copying, thinking about why a character is written in this way is an important part of learning calligraphy.


Copying, seeking similarity, not seeking truth.

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