Until 1557, Plantin's mark was a vine with the words "Vitis Vera Christus" on a banner. After 1557 he adopted the mark he would use for the rest of his life. While Plantin varied the style of his mark over the years, some elements are always present. These include Plantin's personal motto "Labore et Constantia" (Labor and Constancy), and the symbol of the compass, usually held by a disembodied hand and drawing a circle. The motto and the compass symbol are related, according to Plantin's correspondence: the center point of the compass indicates constancy and the moving point labor. Other elements, such as elaborate borders, foliage, human and animal figures, and architectural shapes, were changed frequently. Occasionally only the compass is shown. After Plantin's death in 1589, his successors continued to use the mark in various forms. The marks shown below are only a sampling of the many variations Plantin used.



Hadriani Junii Medici Emblemata

Den Bibel Inhovdende Het Ovdt Ende Niev Testament
Flemish Bible; Engraving by Gerard Janssen van Kampen.

Index Characterum

Biblia Sacra (Polyglot Bible)
(Edited partial image)

Orthographiae Ratio

Justi Lipsii Epistolicarum Quaestionum

Decretales Gregorii IX
A composite of three printer's marks, for a collaboratively published book.
Plantin's compass and motto are dominant; in the roundels
are the marks of Jan Steels and Philip Nuyts.
Engraving by Pieter van der Borcht.

Plantin's motto is omitted.

Biblia Sacra (Latin Bible)
Engraving by Abraham de Bruyn from art by Crispijn van den Broeck.

Sancti Epiphanius ad Physiologum

El Cavallero Determinado
Engraving by Pieter van der Borcht.

Date unknown

Printer's Marks
of Christopher Plantin