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I am experimenting with an online seal generator, the text I have entered is 一千五百 and I have noticed that the characters go first from top right to bottom right, then from bottom left to top left. Is this correct?

enter image description here

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    NO. Here's a good introduction to 章法. You can go counterclockwise, but not clockwise, for rectangular stamps with 4 characters. – Stan Jul 10 '15 at 7:45
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    @Stan thanks for the link. I used this site before, and ended up swapping the 3rd and 4th characters myself (using MS Paint).. These two seem to work better for my purpose. purpleculture.net/chinese-seal-generator chinesetools.eu/tools/chinese-seals – leo4jc Jul 10 '15 at 9:47
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    @leo4jc Why not just swap the input? – Drunken Master Jul 10 '15 at 9:51
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    @DrunkenMaster Haha. – Stan Jul 10 '15 at 10:16
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    I didn't pay attention to the direction when I generated the graphics. Then I didn't have internet access when I was ready to use it! LOL – leo4jc Jul 10 '15 at 10:23
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The general principle is from top to bottom, from right to left, but the format can be very flexible. For a four-character seal, there are 6 ways to arrange the characters (see picture). Seal calligraphers normally pick the arrangement that is most aesthetically pleasing, depending on how the character is written & number of strokes per character, etc. The only exception I'm aware of is for 4-character seal, the 2nd format in the picture breaks the right-left rule but that particular one has a particular name called 回文布排 ie "anti-clockwise" that is for 4-character seal only.

picture taken from http://www.shufazidian.com/shuji/article.php?acid=21&arid=41 enter image description here

  • Of course this is good, and @Stan has already linked to this page. I am still puzzled if the clockwise pattern used by the site in the description can be considered valid or not. – Drunken Master Aug 18 '15 at 10:21
  • What about a 3 character seal? Some ten years ago I made myself a seal for my "chosen chinese name" Zhou Luyi: imgur.com/74lsQi6 Is it right? I made it most for fun and to stamp on some practice shufa sheets. – Luiz Borges Sep 25 '15 at 14:56
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This is correct. It is called 竖排.

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    I know what 竖排 is, the proper question is if it is possible to write first from top to bottom, and then from bottom to top. – Drunken Master Jul 12 '15 at 7:35

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