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June 2008 • Tammuz 5768 Volume 21, No. 3, #147
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Handwriting Matters:

Taking a Look at Signatures

By Dr. Ari Korenblit

The signature is the most practiced and utilized part of our handwriting. We spend hours developing and perfecting it to our satisfaction. Like any one aspect of handwriting, it fails to present the totality of the writer’s personality any more than a doctor’s examination of an arm yields a full diagnosis of the body. Nevertheless, the signature is a very telling aspect of our writing, as it reveals a great deal of the persona of the writer and the image they desire to project to the world.

If the writing and the signature are the same size, style, slant, pressure and spacing - these are facets of handwriting a graphologist/handwriting analyst examines - the writer is very comfortable with their public image and there is duality in the public and private image. They behave the same in public as in private. They have no need for pretense or putting on airs - what you see is what you get.

If the signature is smaller than the writing, the writer lacks in self-confidence, is shy, introverted, reserved, sensitive, and prefers not getting attention. If the signature is considerably smaller, the writer has extreme psychological difficulties, or is a great pretender: standing off by himself, acting as if he wants no attention, yet craving it. It is the precept of extremes that mask the opposite. Handwriting of the truly modest and humble will have the writing and the signature basically matching.

If the signature is larger than the writing, the writer is confident, determined, and forceful. When the signature is much larger than the writing, this writer can be selfish, overbearing, and pretentious. While the signatures of Hillary Clinton and John McCain are larger than the writing, this is typical of politicians, actors, and others in the public eye. It is consistent of a healthy ego and the need for public recognition and even adoration. The signature of Barack Obama is, however, much larger than the writing - indicating a need to “put on airs.” It is the writing of one who is extremely egotistical and dominating.

When the writing and signature are both legible, the writer wants the message clearly understood, as well as who he is. This is representative of the writings of Clinton, McCain and Obama, each wanting their message to “come across” and for everyone to recognize and acknowledge the messenger. If the writing is legible but the signature is not: the writer wants the communication to be clearly understood, but not who he is. When the writing is illegible but the signature is legible, the writer is not interested in communicating clearly, except to promote who he is (egotism to the max). When the writing and signature are both illegible, the writer has difficulty functioning.

When there is a large space between the text and the signature, the writer wants to distance him/herself from the message; they may not really endorse it or believe it. When the signature is close to the text, the writer wholeheartedly approves of the message. The signatures of Obama, Clinton and McCain are close to the text except for one sample by Hillary, which is distant from the text, indicating her distancing herself from that message.

The placement of the signature indicates: In the center, means that the writer needs to be in the center of things. They do not want to be left out of anything. If someone is talking, they will assume it is about them. Barack Obama, in most of his writings, places his signature in the center. Slightly to left of center: means that the writer is natural, and unselfconscious. At extreme left of center - not in a formal letter where the signature is placed at the left - the writer is clinging to the past, afraid of facing the future, inhibited, and lacks confidence. At right of center indicates one who moves confidently through life. Hillary Clinton, in most of her writings, places her signature to the left. At extreme right means great impatience, frustration with bureaucracy, and fanaticism. John McCain places his signature to the right, and at times at the extreme right. This indicates an inner temperament that is restless, impatient, can blow up in an instant, defies the given order, but can, most often, exert control and mastery over his inner demons.

The relationship between the given name and the family name indicates how one perceives their standing vis-a-vis the family. If the first and last names are the same size, level and closely spaced, it indicates a fine relationship with the family. If the first name is larger or placed higher than the last name, the writer feels superior to their family, and that he achieved his status on his own. If the family name is larger or placed higher, the reputation of the family is what he’s riding on and living off. If there is a wide space between the first name and the family name, it indicates a rift and distance between the writer and the family. When there is virtually no space between the first name and family name, and when they are connected, it indicates one subsumed by the family and exiting due to that connection.


When a woman assumes the family name of her spouse, the state of the relationship is reflected in the interaction of the first name and the husband’s name. When the relationship is harmonious it will be reflected by a fine spacing between the names, as well as both written with equal pressure, and on the same level. Disharmony is indicated by a greater spacing, different slant, pressure or height.

Sometimes a line will be made through the name, indicating a homicidal wish.

In the samples of the signatures of Hilary Rodham Clinton, you can note how her relationship with Bill varied: In one sample, her name and his are intertwined; in another there is a slight space between them, while in another the gap is wider yet.   

Dr. Ari Korenblit is a N.Y.S Supreme Court Certified Document Examiner, graphologist and psychotherapist in private practice. He lectures on and teaches handwriting analysis, and analyzes handwriting for personnel selection, marriage choice, etc. Contact him at 212-721-4608  or  arikorenblit@att.net

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