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Signature Analysis

There are occasions when I am asked to examine just a signature by clients from throughout the UK, to ascertain who the writer is and/or their personality.    If you have a document that contains more than a signature (i.e. also has other handwriting to analyse) then you will be more interested in questioned documents, which allows a much stronger form of analysis).

Very few people realise that the signature is a ‘manufactured’ product which contains impressions of events from our childhood, young adulthood and generally throughout our life.     Some illustrate the author’s opinion of their self-worth, whether high or low – others are fabricated to create the illusion of power and success – and therefore graphologists have to take great care when agreeing to undertake such an assignment – it may often be wiser to refuse this type of analysis as it can go so very wrong.

Why would it go wrong?

The actor/actress who is very proficient in portraying the character they are professionally assigned to play, gradually over the period of time this character takes up most of their waking life, begins to infiltrate their natural signature.   Look at the signature of your favourite actors – they are usually large, rather flamboyant and fill your consciousness -  is this the real person or is it the actor ‘performing’ for their audience and fans?   In real life situations the actor is usually quite an introvert and their handwriting falls with the realms of normality and reality.  The larger than life business person or entrepreneur has usually attained their position, not just by hard work, but knowing exactly when to lay down a ‘paper chase’ or put up a ‘smoke screen’.   This may be considered dishonest – but without their ability to act out the role the market demands to ensure the success and profitability of their company, their  success would be limited.    Obviously, their handwriting will illustrate these tendencies as they are an important part of their success and who they are today.

When attempting to analyse a ‘personality’ from the handwriting of people the cardinal rule is to remember that their signature has grown up with them – every event, major or minor, is mirrored within its form in a condensed and sometimes artificial manner.  Therefore, there are clues in the formation of the signature, no matter how minute, that the graphologist must not ignore or miss.  Only the most experienced and competent professional will work from a signature alone to assess personality.

Working on identifying whether a signature is a forgery uses a completely different manner of examination – and has to be done using ‘known’ signatures of the author for comparative purposes, together, wherever possible, with a larger sample of their handwriting.


Is this an  art form or desecration?  Opinions differ considerably, but certainly it is an expression of who the ‘author’ or ‘artist’ is.  Ten years ago Banksy was considered an anti-social hooligan – today his artwork and humour attracts numerous admirers willing to purchase his work for thousands of pounds/dollars.

Every ‘tag’ that you see illuminates the ‘taggers’ character.   They all illustrate to a certain degree most effectively the desire to be recognised as positive and worthwhile people who are having difficulty in being accepted in ‘normal’ society, or uncomfortable with their immediate position within society – and feel that they do not fit in.    Some ‘tags’ show frustration and bravado – covering up the fear and lack of self-assurance they feel. Others definitely indicate a need to express their view of the world in a larger than life way

Sometimes with humour and nearly always with artistic flair and considerable insight into the way society and people react to everyday situations, they are making personal, political and social observations and expressing them much as the cartoonist does – and as many of the ‘modern artists’ do in their larger than life depiction of everyday articles and situations.

The ‘tagger’ is seeking recognition from the ‘world’ – generally speaking.   His signature is like the more conforming signatures of our ‘actors’ for their fans and audience.   Look at me and recognise who I am and what I can do – those of you who can, look at the signatures of one of the most misunderstood and abused actresses in her lifetime – ‘Marilyn Monroe’ and compare it with the signature of ‘Norma Jean’ – you may then understand how important it is for the graphologist to always to be allowed access to more than just one sample signature or tag written or drawn at a specific moment in time, to discern accurately the character of its author.