The P Stamp

At some point, all magazine articles must come to an end. The writer is finished with a final period, but the layout artist must add an end mark to signify a story’s terminus. With the advent of the printing press, newspapers and magazines became widespread in the 17th and 18th century. Even in these early publications, symbols were used to indicate the start and end of articles, but these were just simply vertical and horizontal lines. Around the turn of the 19th century, The Gentleman’s Magazine, a London publication recognized as the world’s first general interest magazine, began morphing those basic lines into diamond shapes and combined line-and-diamond designs. Thus a direct ancestor of today’s stylized end-of-story marks came into existence. This mark morphed into the contemporary small square called a “Halmos.” It was named after a mathematician who advocated the use of the mark as a way to end math proofs—a kind of punctuation mark. The “P” stamp, which concludes all Pulse articles, is the same P as the magazine’s logo. According to Art Director Kenny Janosick, the font “is a custom logo type with influences from Engravers, Bodoni, and Modern No. 216.”

michael isenbek

Michael Isenbek, Associate Editor, dabbles in both fiction and nonfiction writing, coordinates the Pulse event listings and writes the text for "Zoom," among other editorial tasks. He has a Master's Degree in Liberal Studies and a Bachelor's Degree in Cultural Studies with a concentration in Journalism from SUNY Empire State College.