I used to not like my signature. For the longest time it looked like the grade “A” Catholic School penmanship I had learned in my youth.
Then I got fancy
I added a new last name
Then I added another new last name
Then, somewhere along the way, it became what it is today. My mark.
A signature is one’s proof of identity and intent. It is often stylized but can be as simple as an “X” or another kind of mark. It is usually made by the author, but a signature can be made in a number of other ways, including a mechanical autopen, rubber stamp, as well as digitally. I do find it very interesting that digital signatures are often in a handwriting font.
Another place where signatures are important is on a painting or another work of art. The signature has always been an important item in the assessment of art. However, today whether or not an artist signs a work depends on two things. First, is a signature possible? So many contemporary artists are working in mediums like film, sound, installation, and performance, all which preclude a signature and depend on some kind of supplemental written piece for authorship information. Secondly, whether or not an artist includes their signature, for example on a painting, photo or other more traditional medium, indicates where they situate themselves on the continuum of art history. In the example of a painting, if it’s in the range from later Abstract Expressionism to Pop to Conceptualism and Minimalism to Post-modernism, the painting probably won’t have a signature–unless it’s an ironic gesture. If, on the other hand, the artist is aligned with the more conservative European figurative tradition, the painting may very well be signed. Most of the artist’s I know, who make objects, sign their work on the back or some other place away from view.
If you are unhappy with your current signature, I found an interesting website that will design your signature for you. I’m not personally interested, I mean I really went through a lot crafting mine, but maybe you might want to cut to the chase.