The Significance of a Signature

“What tells you most about a person?”

My father’s response was concise and to the point.

“Their signature.” 

My father is a Director at a Fortune 500 Company where he oversees projects and manages teams that manage other teams. He deals with many high profile clients including government officials. We were talking about how he handles himself around these people and what he takes note of. 

At first I thought that he was joking, but those 2 words lead to a realization. A realization that your signature is a literal embodiment of YOU. A realization that your signature was the most powerful weapon you possess. A realization that your signature locks you into a mortgage, a marriage, you can even sign your life away. A realization that when you scribble that seemingly insignificant little line down on the paper, you’re attaching a part of your life to it. However, it wasn’t until I saw my father’s signature again on my aunt’s birthday card that I could fully appreciate his response.


This specific instance in which I saw my father’s signature I was overwhelmed in an entanglement of awe. Not just because of it’s grandiloquence and his fine penmanship but because of how much it represented him. My father carries himself with a sense of grace and pride that is shown in his flaring initials. His serious nature and determination is represented by his heavy Y’s and G. His point of view made me notice different things. Before I would see his signature and not think much of it, but I now noticed how his signature represented him. I’m sure that for my dad it’s not that deep, but I can definitely understand his sentiment about how you can notice things and take a guess on someone’s character based on their signature. 

Someone who takes their appearance very seriously could spend hours perfecting an elegant signature. A powerful CEO or business man could create a bold signature that leaves a lasting impression. An artist may create a unique and distinguishable signature that reflects their art style. The possibilities are endless because there are so many types of people in this world, and everyone is different. This gif from my robotics video that I shared for “What do you love, what moves you?” showcases perfectly how many people there are in the world and the diversity that our planet holds. 

This series of revelations leads me to believe that everyone should not only have their own signature, but they should also work diligently to tweak and alter it to make it their own. Each time you sign your signature on something you’re using it as a representation of yourself; naturally you should take pride in your character and how you present yourself. I encourage you to at least try and develop your signature into something meaningful and that represents yourself. The process of developing a signature is enjoyable and satisfying. At the end of your voyage you’ll be happy you started, and left with a newfound part of you. Nevertheless there are people who choose not to care about their signature, and this is fine. In her poem “A Work of Artifice”, Marge Piercy portrays the potential of a bonsai tree without human intervention. In this instance the person’s signature is the bonsai tree, and they are their own “human intervention” in a sense that their signature could be so much more meaningful and despite that they choose not to care about it. 

The journey through the scales of imagination and creativity to create and establish a personal signature is different for everyone. It could take days, weeks, months, even decades. My own journey has been slow and trying. For 6 long months I’ve struggled through countless pages of paper and countless variations of my signature. In contrast, my brother’s journey was quick and easy. He signed his name once and has kept it the same since. For many of us, our pursuit never ends. You may think you’ve perfected your signature, but one day you might sign it with a different variation of a letter and end up keeping it that way moving forward. This is perfectly fine because in the same way we change and grow as people, our signatures will change and grow. 

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