A signature is typically just someone's name written in a stylised manner. However, this isn't strictly essential. All that is required is a mark that represents you. A valid signature is one that adequately records the intent of the parties engaged in a commercial transaction. If you have a reputation for being difficult to reach, it may be necessary to include your contact information in your signature.
If you do sign your name, here are some suggestions:
- Write out your full name like you would if you were signing a letter. - Use your first and last names only unless you have a good reason not to. - Put your name at the beginning of the sentence (subject prefix). - End the sentence with a period (sentence punctuation).
Here are some examples of signatures: "John Doe", "JD", "jd", or "jdc".
In terms of appearance, there is no strict definition of a signature. However, it usually consists of your name written in an informal manner on the document itself or on an attached sheet. Your signature should also indicate that you are agreeing to be bound by the terms of the contract or other document you are signing.
Anything that marks the paper can be used to make the signature. These include stamps, seals, scratches, and cuts. Even handwriting can be a valid signature if it is clear and readable.
Names can be written out or printed with or without titles such as "Mr or Mrs". If your name is not known or does not appear to be used consistently, then it may be necessary to give some indication of who you are so that people can identify your papers. This could be done by including the year of birth or some other form of identification. For example, if you were born in 1901 then your signature could read "J Smith" or "Jdg S". Names can also be initials instead. For example, GSB stands for George Samuel Bell and his signature would look like this: GS B.
In modern times, signatures are usually written out in full, but formerly they were often written only with an initial or surname. For example, Thomas Jefferson wrote his name as TJ in full view of anyone who might sign his letters. But he also signed many documents with an initial, so that they could be quickly identified by someone who knew him. His signature looked like this: T J.
Because they are all distinct types of writing utensils, signatures can also be generated with stamps or electronically.
In British law, it is customary for lawyers to use the term "signature" when referring to their mark rather than name. This is because "signature" has legal significance; it is not merely a short way of referring to your name.
The requirement that a signatory use his or her "full name" means that it cannot be used by another person who shares only a first name with the signatory. For example, if I sign my letter to you "John", then anyone else who signs letters as "John" cannot be me. He or she must either be John Smith or some other person whose name is also spelled "John".
Similarly, if I sign my letter to you "Peter", then no one else can sign letters as "Peter". Only I can do that. If there were others called "Peter", they would not be able to sign letters as themselves. They would have to sign as "Peter (the second)".
Names may be included on lettershead or envelopes, but they will not constitute signatures unless they are also used as marks by the sender.
A pencil signature is not preferred since it can smudge and be wiped, but a pencil signature is just as legitimate as a pen signature. A typewritten signature is also acceptable, but it must be consistent with other parts of the letter for it to be recognised.
As long as you follow these simple steps, then there is no reason why your signature shouldn't be as legal as anyone else's!
All a signature is intended to accomplish is indicate your will to enter into an agreement, whether it's a purchase, job offer, or commercial transaction. To that aim, a huge "X" on the page or sketching a symbol will suffice. "It doesn't have to match your signature," Mann explains. "As long as you are able to identify it with your own signature, it's valid."
The most common mistake artists make when signing their work is adding too much detail or emotion, which makes it difficult for others to verify that they authorized the sale of the artwork.
The only requirement for a valid signature is that it must be written by you. So if you can't write, then someone who can sign your name for you could serve as a proxy during a contract negotiation.
Some artists choose to use a variation of their surname as a signature because it's easy to remember and not confusing about whom it represents. For example, an artist named Smith might sign his work "Smith" or "John D. Smith". Since this is a common practice that almost everyone knows how to interpret, there's no need for him to sign each piece of art separately.
Some artists choose to use an "x" as a signature because it is the most common mark used to signify consent in contracts and other legal documents. As long as you are able to identify it with your own signature, it's valid.
Your handwritten and typed name is included in the signature. In official letters, provide your entire name; in semi-formal letters, simply your first name is acceptable. Fill in the blanks with your name. You can eliminate the written name from casual letters; simply sign your name below the close.
John L. Smith
Smith, John L.
John L. Smith Jr.
Signatures can be made using a person's name or even their initials as long as the intended impact is achieved on the papers. You may have signature initials alone, just like complete signatures, and use your initials as a signature to verify papers. The first letter of the surname and the first two letters of the given name are common choices for an author's signature. This is because they are easy to identify and to write.
In addition to being used on papers, signatures are often included on letters to show who wrote which part of the letter. For example, a secretary might write "Thank you for your letter of April 20th" followed by the sign-off "Yours truly, Jane Doe." Although not required, it is acceptable for authors to use their initials as a letter-signature. For example, an assistant professor could write "Zoe M. Jones" as her letter-signature if she did not want others to know her full name.
Initials are also used as a mark of identification. For example, police officers wear badges with their names and photographs on them to show that they are who they say they are. However, in this case, the name and photograph are used to identify the officer; thus they are called "identification markers".
Finally, initials are sometimes used as a mark of protest.