A Stroke of Personality

One of my favorite aspects of Wikipedia when it comes to looking up famous people is viewing the respective person’s signature. In the box that contains their education, nickname, family members, etc., you will also find a row for their signature. You can even tap it to view in full screen and see all the loops, crosses, and dots up close.

There is just something humanizing and revealing about seeing the signature of someone like Dwight Eisenhower or Charlie Chaplin. Not only do you get a sense that they share a commonality with us in that they have to sign their name too, but you also get a unique look into their personalities by how they express their name with pen and paper.

I wonder what my own signature conveys to others. To be honest, it is not pretty. I perfected it probably in fifth grade when we had our checkbook unit and it has not changed since then. My inspiration was from my dad’s signature. I liked how he used the last “r” on Reser to cross the “t” on his first name (Thomas) so I did something similar. For a quarter century, I have used the last “r” on Reser to cross the “t” on the end of my first name. Same idea as my dad but much less elegant and much more sloppy in terms of execution on my end.

This is my signature.

Did you know there are handwriting experts who will work with you to create/modify your signature? I heard it is like $600 per session. Good for those people who can make a living off what must be a niche customer base but I don’t think I will be contracting those services anytime soon. Although I know my signature is lacking in style, I don’t have the urge to change it at this point.

And that leads me to my overall point. Even though my signature isn’t aesthetically pleasing, at least it is distinctive. After using it for 25 years, I am pretty much protected against fraudsters who might try to sign something on my behalf. Voting officials flag my ballot if my signature doesn’t look like the one they have on file. My wife, parents, and other close friends could replicate it themselves because they have seen it so many times. In many ways, it is an extension of my personal brand.

Whether it will be immortalized on Wikipedia forever or whether it will just be used primarily to sign your checks, take pride in your signature. Just like your fingerprints, it is unique entirely to you. Don’t Blink.

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