Delving into fundamentally important but often overlooked topics such as shoe tying and how to make toast, David Rees explores the minutiae of life in his series Going Deep With David Rees. Now examining the unheralded art of the signature in "How to Sign Your Name", Rees discovers a person’s autograph reveals more about their personality than may be expected.
Experts indicate a correlation between the size of a person’s signature and their sense of self-worth. Using Donald Trump’s famed giant autograph as an example, a graphologist suggests the large, bold style represents high self-esteem and a determined fearlessness. Interestingly, experts have also determined that a sloped lettering style denotes flexibility, suggesting a largely unseen side of the current president and the possibility that divining a person’s nature from their signature may not be an exact science.
The art of handwriting has suffered substantially since the use of computers became commonplace. In many cases, written signatures have now been replaced with thumbprint/retina scanning and tap technology as we embrace the machines that will someday turn on humanity and destroy us all.
Still, there are plenty of people for whom computer literacy was scarcely relevant during formative years, leaving handwriting skills to flourish. If your signature flows like an artistic stream (or as though you were severely reprimanded for mistakes as a child in a discipline-based education system), chances are you are part of an older generation that valued quality penmanship.
When a signature comprises a bunch of largely unidentifiable squiggles, experts suggest the writer is a private person, potentially with something to hide. In comparison, a clearly delineated signature in which each letter is legible is said to be that of someone who is calm and confident. As Rees learns in the course of his investigation, even simple signatures can be difficult to accurately forge, but the more complex a signature, the greater the sense of personal security.
Symbols and flair
Depending on the symbology, a signature that includes pictograms or icons can represent faith, background or a personality trait the writer deems important. That being said, if your signature ends with a smiley face or your ‘i’ and lower case ‘j’ are dotted with hearts, experts suggest it may simply mean you have not changed your autograph since obtaining your pen licence in fourth grade.
Signing your name in blood
A signature is a personal choice, but signing your name with blood is considered a faux pas in modern day etiquette and should be avoided. Admittedly, it makes a bold and memorable statement, but in today’s overzealous politically correct environment, smearing blood on somebody’s wall or documents is considered rude.
If this is your autograph, experts suggest you are “a good boy, yes you are!” Either that or a surgeon has played a terrible trick on you during your hand transplant operation.
As Rees discovers, a person’s signature remains surprisingly relevant in an otherwise largely digital world. Still considered a reliable means to protect and confirm identification, a neat signature also has the ability to increase trust and convey other valued personality traits. So unless you have a good excuse, such as having paws instead of hands or you’re too busy being the president of your country to learn basic penmanship, it may be time to practise your handwriting.
Watch the "How to Sign Your Name" episode of Going Deep with David Rees Tuesday 8 May at 8pm on SBS VICELAND.