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The signature gives graphologists a great deal of information, much more than any other part of a subject's handwriting. The signature is the ego, but it goes beyond this point. The body of the writing represents what the writer really is, whereas the signature shows what he would like you to think he is.

If the body of the writing is similar to that of the signature, we see an essentially honest and straightforward individual-one that is not trying to impress others or play a false part. When the signature varies from the body of the writing, graphologists first analyze the body of the writing, to discover what the writer really is. Then they check that against the signature to get an impression of the writer's persona-the role he is trying to play.

Figure 1

In Figure 1, the body of the writing is generally vertical, showing a cool approach toward people in general. The inclined signature implies anything but coolness. Grandma Ruthie wants you to think that she is warmer than she really is.

Notice that the text in the writing of Harriet Beecher Stowe (Figure 1A) is quite similar to that of her signature in angle, pressure, and size of capitals. This consistency between text and signature can also be seen in the writing of Albert Schweitzer (Figure 1B), showing them both to be "true types."

By contrast to Figure 1, Figure 2 shows the body of the writing to be inclined (warm), whereas the signature is more or less upright (cool). Ted is warm and sensitive, but would prefer you to think of him as more indifferent than he really is.

Figure 2

Compare the right-slanted body of the writing of French composer Jules Massenet (Figure 2A) with his vertical signature. The real man was quite warm, but he thought it better for others to think of him as being a bit more "cool," perhaps for professional reasons.

Figure 3 shows simplified writing, but displays an artistic signature. The writer, basically a person of simple tastes, would like you to think he is artistic.

Figure 4 contrasts the large writing of the main body with a tiny signature. Henry is far from being humble, but his tiny signature shows that he wants you to think he is.

Figure 4

When a person holds an image in his mind of someone he respects or likes, he tends to make that person's appearance larger than it actually is. The opposite is also true: lack of respect for someone makes him reduce the image in size. These images are shown in his writing.

When the writer in Figure 5 addresses the person to whom she is writing, her handwriting shrinks in size in comparison to the body of the writing. Thus, this writer has low esteem for Mrs. Coll.

Figure 5

Figure 6

The body of the writing in Figure 6 is smaller than the name of the addressee. Therefore, the writer has a high regard for Bonnie.

Figure 7

Although the addressee's name in Figure 7 is unclear, the body of the writing is quite legible. The writer is confused, not sure of how he feels about his cousin.

Figure 8

In Figure 8, the addressee's name is "wiped out." The writer would love to get rid of Dave somehow or other.

Figure 9

In Figure 9, the writer's own name is written much larger than that of the addressee. Charlie thinks much more of himself than he does of Nancy.

The way a man signs his first name indicates what the writer thinks of himself. The way he signs his surname hints at his feeling toward his family-particularly his father, since the surname does represent him.

When both names are equal in size, he demonstrates an equal regard for himself as an individual and for his family. When there is a variation, the writer is portraying how he feels about his relationship with his family.

Figure 10

In Figure 10, the first name is larger than the surname. The writer is more involved in his own affairs than concerned with being part of his family.

This trait can be seen in the signature of Miguel de Cervantes in Figure 10A:


Figure 11

Figure 11 shows the surname larger than the first name. This writer considers his family first and thinks of himself as part of it, rather than as an individual on his own. The signature of Alfred Nobel in Figure 11A shows this trait:

When the capitals of both first name and surname are large and relatively even, as in the signature of Ted Kennedy in Figure 11B, it shows a person who is proud of his family as well as of himself:

As the following examples show, a woman's writing often demonstrates her opinion of her husband.

Figure 12

Not only does the woman in Figure 12 sign herself with the title "Mrs.," she writes her husband's name in a large hand. Mrs. Jay is very proud of her Joseph.

Figure 13

In Figure 13, a woman writes her title and husband's last name quite large in comparison to her own given name. She thinks much more highly of her husband than she does of herself.

Figure 14

Though the woman in Figure 14 did sign her name with the title "Mrs.," it and her husband's last name are small in comparison to her own given name. She is prouder of herself than of her husband.

Figure 15

In Figure 15 (this happens to be the signature of a married woman) the writer writes her own given name much larger than her husband's. It is easy to see why, as she has little regard for her husband.

Examination for Lesson 15

  1. The body of the writing reflects what the writer is. What does the signature show?
  2. Is Albert Schweitzer's signature consistent with the text? What does this indicate?
  3. Define the text and signature of French composer Jules Massenet. What is revealed?
  4. Notice the first name and surname of Miguel de Cervantes. What is indicated?
  5. Prove that Alfred Nobel considers his family first.
  6. When one's signature discloses being proud of his family as well as himself, what is consistent between the first name and the surname? (Notice Ted Kennedy's signature)


  1. The signature shows what he would like you to think he is.
  2. The writing (the 'body') of Albert Schweitzer and his signature are consistent. This shows him to be a "true type."
  3. His writing is right-slanted, showing him to be a warm personality. His signature is vertical, reflecting a 'cool' side-perhaps for professional reasons, he thought it better for others to think of him as being so.
  4. He is more involved in his own affairs than concerned with being part of his family.
  5. His signature shows his surname larger than his first name.
  6. The capitals of both first name and surname are large and relatively even.


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