Hull Markings, also called Hull Designators or Registry Markings refer to the markings placed on all registered Tinris World Navy ships at the time they are commissioned. Each is required to be unique and to be prominently displayed at all times.
The practice of marking hull markings on World Navy vessels dates back to the command of Second Admiral Kafa Goh in the Era of Sunrise. Historical records indicate that the concept of hull markings was implemented to facilitate identification of similar hull configurations in a crowded field of ships, though this seems slightly apocryphal given the very small number of spelljamming vessels in service at that time.
In the early years of the restored Tinris World Navy, hull markings were used that mirrored in many ways pre-Collapse Estrynal Dwarven herd markings. (i.e. A geometric shape and a letter or number) Each ship was marked bore both a unique ship hull marking and a marking common to its fleet or battlegroup.
During the Era of Reunification, hull markings for World Navy vessels changed very little, though a further aesthetic was added through the application of unique ship art. A variably sized mural or painting would be applied to the forecastle, or in situations where such was not available, to the fore starboard hull directly.
The Era of Hegemony saw the greatest reform to hull markings of World Navy vessels. With the strict codification of all things mercantile and the retasking of the World Navy to little more than a merchant marine force for Dwarven corporations or trade houses, hull markings became more standardized and basically functional. The geometric patterns and similarities to traditional herd markings were discarded in favor of a letter-number combination unique to each ship, with each ship further marked to reflect its trade group assignment and its corporate sponsor. Such markings lingered throughout the Era of Ascension until the massive upsurge in World Navy dominance throughout Wildspace in the middle of that Era.
At this point, hull markings became more distinctly military once again. With the upswing in production of vessels, and the codification of vessels into distinct classes of ships, hull markings became unified based on the following criteria: Ship class, battlegroup assignment, sphere of berthing and commanding officer. (i.e. EC-ACBG-02-Herd-Sharia was the hull marking of the Eschaton class battleship, assigned to Battlegroup 02, operating out of Herdspace and under the command of Captain Edalain Sharia) This policy for markings persisted well into the opening years of the current Era of Promise.
In the current Era of Promise, hull markings have been redesigned based on many trends from previous incarnations. Each ship is now marked with a single, unique identifier based upon its classification and order of commissioning and is also assigned a proper name. (ie. WNS Mozdanhorzon (MC-01) was the first ship commissioned in the Admiralty class of fast courier ships.)
By law and tradition, all hull markings are registered with the Tinris World Navy Home Office upon commissioning.