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09 June 2010

Is your signature always the same, or do you change it up? Mine varies.
If I don't think about it, my signature is usually the same. Over the years it has become more of a formless scribble. I rarely sign anything but my checks and tax returns. Seems like people don't use checks much anymore, so I wonder what people actually sign these days. Is the concept of a signature obsolete?
posted by DarkForest 09 June | 15:23
Oh I also wanted to say that if I think about my signature while I'm doing it, it gets really weird.
posted by DarkForest 09 June | 15:24
I sign a lot of paperwork as president of the board at our church. As long as there is a government and that government collects paper, we will have signatures.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 09 June | 15:34
Is the concept of a signature obsolete?

I think that document retention policies (whether mandated by regulators or just for security/fiduciary reasons) are becoming increasingly prevalent and increasingly complex. That means MORE signatures, not less. And with the widespread adoption of electronic document storage, the cost to keep more paperwork is much lower than before.

Anyway, mine varies a little bit but not because I want it to.

posted by mullacc 09 June | 15:41
I barely make an effort when i have to sign for something, there is just some token waving around of the stylus, but it generally looks the same for a nearly formless scribble. If i'm making an effort, it's a slightly tighter scribble with up to two discernible letters.
posted by ethylene 09 June | 15:56
mine is a line down and a line across, these days...
posted by gaspode 09 June | 16:08
I have around sixhundred signatures that randomly switch every 3 minutes, most with 'dabitch' in a figlet font some with ascii... oh, we're talking about handwriting.. eh.. I'll be over here in the geek corner
posted by dabitch 09 June | 16:24
I think the general rule is: The older you get, the fewer letters you have/need/use when signing your name. At this point, my last name is down two letters. My father's signature is his three initials and some squiggly lines.

Once my bank disallowed a wire transfer I was trying to make because the signature on the letter I faxed them didn't match my signature card. That I had signed TEN YEARS prior. I was pissed.

Also, I work with a guy who's signature doesn't even remotely resemble any portion of his name - not even the initials. We make fun of it all the time because it's something like "F (delta) I L" - so when you break it down he looks like he's signing everything FAIL.
posted by youngergirl44 09 June | 16:35
I used to vary it, but then I worked as a waitress for umpteen years, and then I had to sign checks and stuff at work for umpteen years, and after signing my name that many times I boiled it all down to a large initial followed by a scrawled line, and it comes out basically the same every time.
posted by Miko 09 June | 16:36
But to answer the original question, my signature has evolved over the years, but is currently pretty consistent. I may try to add back in the last two letters of my last name if I'm signing something really formal.
posted by youngergirl44 09 June | 16:38
Mine gets messier and messier, and sometimes it gets shortened to my initials. I have to sign stuff a lot (lawyer stuff: letters, motions, etc.).
posted by amro 09 June | 17:12
More or less the same, with just the first letter of both of my first and last names and the crossing of the T's (again, in both my first and last names). The smaller letters just kind of get waved on through.
posted by ufez 09 June | 17:16
Mine is fairly consistent; first initial and last name to keep it simple.
posted by deborah 09 June | 18:22
I do a lot less signaturing than I used to -- only checks nowadays mostly. The only consistent pattern is that it's less and less legible over time.
posted by blucevalo 09 June | 19:05
Clever girl. Collecting our signatures for future world domination.
posted by Pips 09 June | 19:44
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 09 June | 19:46
We have a friend who delighted in the fact that he changed it all the time, and as he signed things he'd say out loud, "every time different!"
Until the bank didn't believe it was him anymore.
On a related note, a few years ago, when my wife and I realized that most places (particularly gas stations) never check credit card signatures, we had a thing going where we'd try to make each other laugh by signing wrong names. I'd bring my copy of the Visa receipt back to the car and show her my signature, a perfect Grade 6 penmanship cursive that read "Donny Osmond" or "Fonzie."
posted by chococat 09 June | 19:49
Same, scribble, so similar to the husband's that we can forge each other without fear of compunction.
posted by rainbaby 09 June | 20:00
D_l A H_t_g

I put all my creativity into the "D" and the "g". The latter is particularly Tolkienesque.
posted by dhartung 09 June | 20:25
Mine is consistent and legible on paper, but if I'm signing one of those checkout pad things with a stylus it's an oversized caret followed by a wriggly blob.
posted by tangerine 09 June | 21:51
I had a job where I had to sign my name a lot right after high school, so I switched from my full name to my initials. At this point, my signature looks pretty similar to signatures my father writes.
posted by aniola 09 June | 22:43
hmm. I have 2 versions of my name (casual and formal) and 2 different signatures that I use. My formal (bank) signature hasn't changed much except that the capitals have slowly morphed over the years to look more and more like my dad's, particularly the initial J in my last name.

also: what mullacc said about documents retention. I am the doc retention critter (slash nazi, your pick) at my place of business (aka the legal department's paper chaser) so I see the importance of signatures, whether they're preserved as .pdfs and the originating docs are shredded or not, as becoming more prevalent, not less.
posted by lonefrontranger 10 June | 10:34
lonefrontranger I have a formal and casual signature too! My formal signature is my whole name and my casual signature is shorter. J is a pesky initial letter for a signature. I write mine the way John Hancock did.

I mostly write them the same way. But sometimes the end letters are just a squiggle.
posted by halonine 11 June | 12:43
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