Episode #6 of the course How to analyze signatures by Annette Poizner
“I will not adjust myself to the world. I am adjusted to myself.” —Anais Nin, French-born novelist and essayist
Yesterday, we got a feel for the overly conforming writer, but if the pen can register the writer who is conforming and prone to pleasing others, it certainly will register the opposite character: the rebel.
And it’s as you would expect: The rebels completely do their own thing, even when they pick up a pen.
In the first lesson, we looked at the signature of Whoopi Goldberg and saw that she does her own thing when she makes letters, showing us that she will shape or misshape letters as she sees fit. Who said you are allowed to put capital letters H in the middle of a word? Whoopi said! She does it her way!
In contrast, look at the script of golfer Tiger Woods. With the first glance, you may get the impression that he is a very careful and conscientious person. Look how steadily he is able to create a signature with letters that are slowly crafted to have a very deliberate look of compliance. As if he’s a perfectionist! So careful! But that neat, careful signature misleads us. If you look at the letterforms, time and time again, he does those letters in a very idiosyncratic way.
Look at how he makes the g in Tiger. Who taught him that you make the lower part of the letter first? What about that odd angular way of making the i? What about the W with a little arcade that covers the whole letter? Who told him to shape the letter with that odd umbrella over top!
He does everything his own way, but you only figure it out if you look very, very closely.
People who make their own rules will defy graphic norms. They may misshape letters. See the signature of Lady Gaga. Why has she broken the connection between the two lines in the L? What about the G that looks like a 6? See the capital in the middle of a word? And the second a looks like a… u, perhaps?
Matt Groening, the animator who developed The Simpsons on TV, is a classic example. His signature, characterized by the use of all caps (which breaks the rules of grammar) is an act of defiance and will show us that defiance itself is a signature trait in his personality
If your customer has one of these out-of-the-box signatures, you won’t expect them to succumb to social pressure. These characters often find a way to work on their own terms and do it their own way, so stand back, be available to provide helpful input, and then leave any decisions to them. If you press them, they will, reliably, rebel!
Ever meet people who are subject to an unusual degree of negativity? Let’s learn more about this problem tomorrow by seeing how it plays out in handwriting.
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