In many ways, a signature is like a fingerprint: Each one is a completely unique identifier.
But if your signature is more Jacob Lew than John Hancock, don’t fear — it’s possible to improve your autograph in a few quick steps, according to calligraphy expert Laura Hooper of Laura Hooper Calligraphy.
1. Find A Font You Like
The first step is deciding what kind of style you want. Angular and jagged? Loopy and old-school? Search around online for calligraphy, fonts, and different type faces that appeal to you. Keep track of your favourites and print out their letter samples.
“I usually find fonts I like online at MyFonts.com,” Hooper said. “You can also get inspiration from books and calligraphy stores.”
2. Practice Only The Capital Letters
Now that you have a font you like, focus on the first letter of both your first and last names to practice.
“For my name it would be L and H,” Hooper explained. “The capitals are what make a signature what it is. Think back to elementary school when you were writing your name over and over again and practice these two letters in the different fonts you like. Find your favourite, and try to do it the same way every time.”
Once you have the capital letters down, the rest of your signature can be more fluid and abstract.
3. Write Your New Signature Over And Over
Practice is the key to improving your handwriting in general, Hooper said, but signing your new signature over and over again is the easiest and fastest way to break the habit of your old signature.
Do it in meetings, while signing checks, at the grocery store, even on a blank notepad while you’re watching TV at home.
The goal is to get your hand as used to the new rhythm and style as possible. Eventually, it will become second-nature.
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