How do artists get such beautiful signatures

Signature: What the signature reveals about you + tips

The signature is a handwritten, handwritten name drawing. We put them under official documents, orders and invoices and thereby identify ourselves as ourselves. Not just in a legal sense. Graphologists are convinced that our signature also tells the trained eye something about our character traits, personality and way of working. What is behind it and how companies use it for themselves ...

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

Why do we sign?

The signature has served as proof of identity since the end of the 16th century. The handwritten signature is something unique. An original every time. Only then do legal transactions, documents, contracts or a termination become legally valid if the legislature provides for the written form. If an electronic signature is used, lawyers also speak of “facsimile”. This also applies if the signature is reused indefinitely by machine or stamp.

The term “signature” is a so-called loan translation from Latin - from “signatum”, in German: “the drawn”. The German synonym is derived from “signatum” or the Latin “signum” (“sign”): “signature”. Even today the saying "give someone a letter and seal (on something)" is common. It means that something can be relied on, that one person firmly assures and affirms something to another because he or she has signed it.

Frequently used synonyms for “signature” (for example in crossword puzzles) are: Signum, Testat, Paraphe, pen stroke, autograph, monogram, signature or signature.

What is a legal signature?

A legally valid signature requires at least the full family name. According to the Federal Court of Justice, the first name alone or just the first three letters of the surname are not sufficient in civil law. Signing in block letters (“sequence of letters”) is also invalid. A formal signature requires individual characteristics. And it must spatially complete the text. Means: It is "below" the text, at the end of it. Not in the middle of it.

You correctly sign with your full first and last name (more rarely: abbreviated first name plus surname). This regulation is intended to prevent forgery of signatures. A detailed signature is classified as "harder to forge".

When is the signature invalid?

A signature is invalid whenever ...

  • it is illegible.
    Smear something and claim that it is a surname does not apply. The name does not have to be reproduced letter by letter. However, it must be legible in some way.
  • it is just an abbreviation.
    Name abbreviations are generally not used as a signature. This applies to the combination of first name + abbreviated surname ("hand sign") as well as the first letter of the surname ("Paraphe").

Because there are illiterate people in Germany who cannot write their own name, there are special regulations here. If you want to sign rental contracts, sales contracts or notarize documents, a notary has to watch as this person signs the document by hand. Only then is there a legally binding signature. In these cases, symbols such as circles or three crosses can even be used to sign.

Graphology: The expressiveness of the signature

Although the name "graphology" sounds scientific, it is not. Graphology is a subordinate discipline of psychology, located in personality diagnostics, and is controversial in this country. An unequivocal connection between handwriting and personality of a person could never be proven. Nevertheless, the “doctrine of the meaning of handwriting” is often used to get a first impression of a person.

The basic idea: handwriting and signature are a form of body language, as individual as a fingerprint. Accordingly, they enable a look into the psyche and personality of a person.

Interpret signature: which features are being examined?

When analyzing fonts, graphologists usually start with the following characteristics:

  • Rhythm of writing
    Is it constant in the flow or does it seem ticked off?
  • uniformity
    Do some letters lean to the right while others slide to the left? Or does the writing show a uniform typeface?
  • originality
    Are certain idiosyncrasies copied? Or does the writing make an authentic and unadulterated impression?

The signature is then examined in detail. Professionals distinguish between four features:

  • garland
    If you use the "garland", its "u" and "n" look almost the same. Graphologists attribute characteristics such as sociability and openness to these types.
  • arcade
    Graphologists mean bulges that are reminiscent of an arch. They can be found with the letters “m”, “n” and “h”. People who use arcades are classified as reserved and introverted.
  • thread
    The letters "n", "m" and "u" are particularly affected by the thread-like spelling. They then look more like a line or a dash. People who sign in this way are characterized by adaptability and flexibility.
  • angle
    People who write at angles tend to use jagged lines instead of curved arcs. Graphologists attribute determination and assertiveness to people with this signature.

In the last step, features are analyzed such as the size of the font, whether there are certain shapes that can be read from the typeface or whether the font has a particularly high pressure. The overall picture emerges from this synopsis. In short, it can be deduced from this:

The signature of a successful person is ... written quickly, does not need ticks, bows or other decorations, tends to the right and the individual letters are not separated from one another, but rather fit into a uniform typeface.

Signature position: left, center or right?

The placement of the signature also says something about the signatory:

  • Left side
    If the signature is on the left, it stands for a rather anxious person who is struggling with disappointments.
  • center
    Graphologists see a signature in the middle of the sheet as a sign of someone who likes to put off things.
  • right side
    Anyone who tends to sign right-aligned is considered independent and successful. However, the signature should not be too far to the right. That stands for an unstable and chaotic personality.

The font analysis in the application process

To find the best candidate for a position, some companies go unconventional - and hire graphologists. These should then analyze the applicant's signature or a sample of the handwriting. The aim is a further assessment of the character or working style of the candidate and thus a decision aid in the selection.

Font analysts assume that a person shows with their signature (for example under cover letter and résumé) who they would like to be or who would like to be seen by others. Often the graphologists compare both handwriting samples. For example, if an applicant has a small signature, sometimes an expansive and oversized signature, that makes you suspicious. If the signatures (and the rest of the handwriting) go well together, it looks authentic.

Signature interpretation: the signatures of famous people

In particular, the signatures of public figures are regularly used by graphologists to demonstrate their art. Some examples.

Signature Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook


The CEO of Facebook only signs with his initials. Font analysts interpret this to mean that his privacy is very important to him. The fact that his signature consists only of capital letters also shows that he has great self-confidence.

Signature Meg Whitman, Ebay & Hewlett-Packard


Margaret (Meg) Cushing Whitman was first CEO of eBay, then head of Hewlett-Packard. Graphologists particularly describe the end of their signature as meaningful: The elongated, almost horizontal line means that Whitman has a high degree of drive, perseverance and determination. Because she spells out her first name in full, but only scrawls the last name lightly, it reveals that she is proud of her professional career to date.

Signature of Satya Nadella, Microsoft


As CEO of Microsoft, Satya Narayana Nadella can also be proud of what has been achieved. His signature, however, is inconspicuous. He abbreviates his last name with the first letter and a period. Signature analysts point out that this should not be fooled. Especially the point after the "N" has it all: It indicates that Nadella has a pronounced self-confidence and great seriousness.

Signature of Bill Gates, Microsoft


Microsoft would be hard to imagine without Bill Gates. The business magnate is known for his business ideas as well as for his humanitarian work. His straightforward and easily legible signature indicate his loyalty and reliability. While the somewhat oversized capital letters indicate the mental equilibrium of the signatory.

Signature Steve Jobs, Apple


The co-founder and long-time CEO of Apple is considered a visionary. But also as a difficult person. Out of nowhere he ruled his employees or asked applicants unpleasant or aggressive questions. This is also evident in his signature: The sharp lines and the energetically set point on the “j” betray Jobs's impatient and aggressive manner. The upward sloping signature is a sign of his ambition and the look ahead.

Is the manual signature still appropriate?

The digitalization sends its regards: We write e-mails more often than business letters by post. Even the job search is increasingly digital - with online applications and applications by email. Many dream of a paperless office.

One of the biggest obstacles: the manual signature.

With "sign-me", Bundesdruckerei offers a procedure for electronic signatures by remote signature. This offers the advantage of being able to process documents signed online immediately. Waiting time and postage costs are saved on both the company and the customer side. Another advantage: the process works without additional software. Only a free registration with a one-time identity check for verification is necessary. Customers only need a PC or smartphone with a camera and microphone and a valid ID document.

Insert signature in PDF: how does it work?

Open the PDF document or form. In Mac OS, all you have to do is click the toolbar icon (“A” with a circle). There you can easily insert, arrange and even enlarge or reduce a signature created beforehand using the trackpad. This also works on the iPhone, by the way.

For example, you can use the free PDF-XChange Viewer software on Windows computers. It works in a similar way: click on the Notes menu, select a pen and sign with the mouse or trackpad. Important: Don't forget to save the signed PDF file with "Save as".

Alternatively, the signature can be prepared on a white sheet of paper. Then scan in. Crop the picture with the signature and later paste it into a Pages or Word document as .jpg or .png. Professionals remove the background beforehand with the “magic wand” of an image processing (Photoshop or GIMP) so that it becomes transparent.

Create a signature: What can be done against a pig's claw?

Professional groups such as doctors, pharmacists and teachers have a reputation for not writing particularly legibly. Diagnosis: pig claw! Other industries and professions have a particularly lively signature. Take management consulting, for example: Here the signature often counts as a status symbol. Some even help out with a writing coach.

If you don't want to go straight to calligraphy workshops with a personally designed signature and prices of up to 7,000 euros, you can take the following tips to heart and improve your signature:

  • Choose a writing instrument
    Ballpoint pens are popular. Also as a promotional gift. But you screw up the handwriting. Reason: pen, pencil and fineliner do not have to be removed. Sometimes the pen does. This makes for a nicer font "picture" (in the literal sense of the word). In addition, fountain pens with blue or black ink add class to any signature.
  • Note the subsurface
    How you write and how your signature looks also depends on the writing surface: some papers virtually soak up ink. With others, the pen scratches. Find the right paper for YOUR signature.
  • take time
    A beautiful signature or handwriting expresses self-worth. Those who are in a hurry do not seem confident. So take the time you need. There is also dignity in slowness.
  • Practice writing
    With the hand or signature it is like with all (fine) motor skills: If they are not trained, they wither. So take every opportunity to write. For example, a bullet journal instead of a calendar.

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[Photo credit: Karrierebibel.de]