What Your Signature Reveals
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.
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.
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, 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.
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.
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.
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
In Figure 8, the addressee's name is "wiped out." The writer would love to get
rid of Dave somehow or other.
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.
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
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
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.
The woman in Figure 12 writes her husband's name in a large hand. Mrs.
Jay is very proud of her Joseph.
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.
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.
In Figure 15 (this is 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.
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