Have you ever collected autographs?
The other day while cleaning out some papers I discovered my old autograph book that I kept as a child. It was such a nostalgic trip!
It was one of those cute little autograph books that was just the right size for whipping out when I came across someone that I thought of as a celebrity – a favourite teacher, our local sports star or the lead singer in one of our local bands.
Little did I know then that my enthusiastic collecting of those autographs would one day pilot my foray into the world of Graphology!
Autograph collecting – More than a Hobby
At the time, it was simply an absorbing hobby. I paged through my little book and found signatures of some of my teachers, messages from friends and even one or two movie star signatures that I had somehow collected.
Autograph collecting has always been a popular hobby with children. But it has grown since those days. In fact it has exploded into an extremely lucrative industry where collectors sell autographs and letters of the rich and famous for amazing amounts of money.
But there’s another side to these autographs. Aside from the historical interest attached to them, I wonder if the owners of these signed postcards and pictures appreciate just how much information can be extracted from the handwriting?
The Meaning of a Signature
A signature is really a graphic indication of how the writer sees himself – or would like to see himself. For example, when you see a signature with very large, inflated and ornate capitals that contrast markedly with the rest of the handwriting it shows an individual who really feels insecure but who tries to disguise his insecurity behind a mask of self-importance.
It’s somewhat dicey to try to extract sufficient meaning from a single signature but when an autograph consists of a signature as well as a handwritten paragraph or two it’s possible to form a surprisingly accurate and realistic picture of the writer.
It’s a fascinating study. Who would have thought that those innocuous little autographs could have blossomed into such a huge industry?
Do write and tell me if you ever owned one of those little autograph books and about some of the more interesting signatures you collected.