Presidents Day got me thinking: what do presidential signatures look like? And do they have favorite pens (because you know we do!)? If you’re also wondering about these very important questions, well, I have your answers, friends.
As I was doing a deep-dive into presidential signatures, there were a few standouts, from what the signature says about the president to how downright cool they look. Let’s dig in:
It feels right to kick it off with the president for whom Presidents Day was originally created, George Washington. With its bold, almost regal looking script, this presidential signature is rarely forged successfully, despite people’s best efforts. It’s one of the most forged autographs in American history, as a piece with Washington’s signature goes for tens of thousands of dollars.
While Taft may not pop into your head immediately when thinking of presidents, he will once you see this magnificent signature. Just look at the space in which it takes up—the confidence! The charisma! Of all the president signatures, this one is really something.
My vote (ha) for the presidential signature with the most flourish goes to: the 7th President of the United States, Andrew Jackson. The curves and curls in Jackson’s signature are eye-catching, as is the underline beneath it, which is said to represent someone who wants their presence felt. And the slant to the right? That indicates an outgoing personality.
Our current president, Donald Trump, has a much-talked about signature, thanks to its loop-less, up-and-down nature. You’ll also notice the pressure in which he uses to deliver his marks, making for a bold impression. Pros who have done Donald Trump signature analysis say that the use of all angles relates to his tendency to see things black or white.
Presidential writing pens are a thing. Typically, presidents have a beloved pen brand they use to sign bills, and those pens are then gifted to people involved in working on the bill. Have you ever seen a president use multiple pens to sign one document? That’s again for souvenirs—the more pens, the more people the president can gift them to.
But, back to the type of presidential writing pens. A long-standing supplier of pens is the manufacturer A. T. Cross. From Barack Obama to George W. Bush, A.T. Cross has been a favorite due to their metal construction, deep black lacquer, and real gold-plated tip. The quick-drying ink that writes on most surfaces is also key for presidents. Their most popular pen also has a presidential price tag: a single pen goes for a whopping $110.
Although sometimes known to use a pen from A. T. Cross, President Donald Trump much prefers a Sharpie pen. In looking at his signature, it all makes sense: his bold writing is due in part to the use of said Sharpie. As reported in Business Insider, he reached out to the folks at Sharpie and said, “Do me a favor, can you make the pen in black? Can you make it look rich?” Not only did they promise to do so, but also offered to put his signature on the pen.
And, in closing, I hope this look into president signatures has you wondering about your own. If you’re interesting in finding out about what your handwriting says about you, check out this fun infographic.
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