How to learn to so a proper signature?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by Roger Wilco, Mar 1, 2012.

  1. Roger Wilco

    Roger Wilco Admiral Admiral

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    Nov 27, 2004
    Simply put, my signature is shit.

    Does anyone have any tips on how to improve on that and learn to make a signature that's consistent and if possible also looks good?

    eta for clarity: I mean my handwritten signature of my name, not the thing at the bottom of my posts.
     
  2. ares93

    ares93 Commodore Commodore

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    Wait...what? You mean there are other types of signatures aside from the ones under our posts? WTF? Link?


    In all seriousness, IMHO the signature you feel comfortable with is the one you should go for. Every single signature is unique and there is no such thing as a "good" signature. 90% of the people reading your signature wont be able to read it anyway. :lol:
     
  3. Tora Ziyal

    Tora Ziyal Vice Admiral Admiral

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    :lol: And here I was about to tell you that a period at the end would be a good start.
     
  4. Roger Wilco

    Roger Wilco Admiral Admiral

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    Nov 27, 2004
    Heh, that's an easy fix. ;)
     
  5. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    My signature has changed over the years.
     
  6. Canadave

    Canadave Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Just do whatever seems natural. My signature is an illegible mess (due in part to having lots of "l"s and "e"s in my last name, resulting in a sea of loops), but I wouldn't have it any other way.
     
  7. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    Just exaggerate it in a couple different ways, pick the one you like and practice it. If your handwriting sucks like mine, don't expect to ever develop a "John Hancock" level of style though.
     
  8. mimic

    mimic Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I got a book signed once, and the author's signature was creepily similar to my signature. He's not likely to steal my identity with it or anything, but it was definitely familiar-looking.

    I intentionally do a bit of a scrawl. My Mom once had her bank account emptied by a lady of a different ethnicity who was half her age, and the bank tried to justify it by saying the signature matched. Thus I make my signature difficult to replicate.
     
  9. Snaploud

    Snaploud Admiral Admiral

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    Ouch. Did she get the money back?
     
  10. Tora Ziyal

    Tora Ziyal Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well done! Now I can say I accomplished something on this otherwise wasted day. ;)
     
  11. tomalak301

    tomalak301 Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    I thought the only reason for a signature was to write sloppy. ;)

    Seriously, I would just work on the handwriting. I wish it was something that was taught more in schools, but it seems to be a thing of a past with everything on computers these days.
     
  12. CorporalClegg

    CorporalClegg Admiral Admiral

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    There is no real quick fix. It's something you need to work up to with practice and rote.

    Flair should also be the last thing you work on; concentration on consistently creating a legible foundation. Random squiggles are the easiest to replicate and reproduce.

    Also, once you have the fundamentals of handwriting down, the "flair" will come much more easily and naturally.

    The first think you need to do, is learn how to properly hold a pen. Something like nine in ten people do so incorrectly. The common notion "just do what feels most comfortable" is a bit of a misnomer. There are simply muscles in your hand that work better at keeping the pen steady while controlling the accuracy of strokes than others. That's not to say you shouldn't ignore comfort all together, you'll just cramp and end up with carpal tunnel, but, like a good golf swing, and some point comfort has to cede to technique and form. I'm sure a simple Google will provide enough pictures and videos on pen holding.

    The next step is to learn how to "write" with your shoulder and not your wrist. You simply have more control in your shoulder than you do your wrist. Learning how to write that way is the most important step in legible handwriting. There is a school of thought that says that isn't so true these days and is a remnant of the quill era. But in any calligraphy class (and even most adult art classes) it's the first thing they teach you.

    The first thing they would have you do is write-out big "words" right in air in front of you making very broad strokes while concentrating on moving at your shoulder. Practice for a minute or so a few times a day for a few days.

    Once you have the "feel" down you can move on to paper. A good way to start is not to focus on words or letters at all, but just simple symbols: X / \ O for example.

    Write each one out repeatedly a few times and move on to the next while filling out a whole sheet of paper. Do this every day. Start with a fairly large size (maybe four or five lines) and gradually get smaller focusing on moving your whole arm and not just your hand.

    Once you've done that for a few days you can start forming pseudo words. In your case, since you want to focus on your signature, go with your name. In my case (John) I would go with something like this: /OXO. This is to emulate the main pattern of strokes I would make in forming my name. Do this over and over for a few days until you can consistently and accurately form each group with the desired speed.

    Then you can move onto real letters. Since the focus of this is your signature, just concentrate on the letters that make up your name.

    Start with basic "cursive" forms--you know the ones they taught in second grade. In fact, swollow your pride and go find a book with the big dotted center line like you used back then. It may sound silly, but it will make a difference. You can also find a template online and print some off your self.

    Then just write those letters in your name over and over and over.
    Then once you got a grasp on the letters, star forming them into your name. (Again) concentrate on accuracy and constancy while writing form your shoulder. The more accurate and consistent you can write your name, the harder it will be for someone else to.

    Once you can reproduce your name with near perfection, you can always stop. There's nothing wrong with having a signature in standard cursive. Heck, the a fore mentioned John Hancock pretty much did.

    If you do want some style, then what I would do is search the interewbz for some handwriting type fonts. Or even just start with the ones in Word. Type out your name in a variety (even mix and match) in a fairly large font and print them out. Then try and emulate what you like.

    Once you got that down, you can add some flair. To keep it simple, just exaggerate some letters or even the occasional loops and add some long tails.

    But remember, the more flair the easier it is to forge because it's easy to replicated those exaggerated loops, tails and what not. They tend to become thing the cashiers, tellers, or whatever focus on--not how strait the vertical line on your "T" is.
     
  13. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    I always liked DeForest Kelley's signature at the end of Undiscovered Country.
     
  14. Roger Wilco

    Roger Wilco Admiral Admiral

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    Wow, thank you very much, I will do that.
     
  15. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I've long since given up on trying to make my signature look good. For two reasons:

    - Nobody ever sees it unless it's an official situation, like signing an important document, and at times like that it doesn't matter if my signature looks good - just consistent.

    - My dad is a doctor. Doctors, and their children, cannot write clearly. This is proven. So I've already lost... :lol:
     
  16. Holdfast

    Holdfast Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    There's no substitute for practice. It's just simple motor memory. Sign dozens of time in a day and you'll eventually settle on a sig that's highly consistent and reflects your personal style.

    I actually have two signature styles: one is my "official" one for passports, banks, tax papers, etc, etc. The other is my "everyday" one, for things like medical forms, drug charts, etc. The everyday one is like a highly simplifed form of the official one; it's a squiggle that can be written in a fraction of a second vs the second or so to write the proper one. I started using it back when I was just starting out as very junior doctor. It doesn't sound like much of a difference but when you got lumbered with rewriting a dozen drug charts at at time, signing a dozen meds off on each one, believe me, it makes it a much faster process.

    The habit stuck, so now I have 2 signatures depending on what the form is. :D
     
  17. StolenThunder

    StolenThunder Poster Premium Member

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    That's what I was going to say. My signature underwent a dramatic alteration in the first month of starting work, and now I just use my 'medical signature' for everything.

    I every now and again forget where I am and start to write my name, grade and job next to personal life documents.
     
  18. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    Though in this day and age of Chip N Pin Card, Contectless payments, Internet banking, telephone banking etc...

    How often do we really sign something?

    As cheques have almost gone the way of the dodo (at least in the UK)
     
  19. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ^ In the US we have to sign all credit card receipts where the amount is over $25.

    We don't have much in the way of 'contactless payments' in the city where I live. I don't know how it works in those that do have it. Do they sign anything?

    And unfortunately we also have to write checks for a fair amount of things. AFAIK, the US is the only country that still does to a large extent.
     
  20. mimic

    mimic Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah. The problem was when they caught it (the thief pulled this trick at 6 branches, and the 6th one caught her) they froze the accounts and we were on vacation. Had to make it back to PA from VT with about $30 cash.