R.I.P. Signatures

By Deane Barker on January 23, 2013

The Great American Signature Fades Away: An interesting treatise on the lost art of the signature.

In recent years, however, as computers and keyboards have become more prevalent, the art — and the necessity — of penning one’s name has gone out of style. The opposable thumb is used more for clicking a button than gripping a pen.

The signature has become a rushed and atavistic formality. We haphazardly scrawl our ways through checkout lines and mortgage refinancings. We don’t write — or sign — as many handwritten notes as we once did because we send emails and e-messages. We don’t write — or sign — as many checks because we pay bills online.

And no one seems to care anymore if our signature is legible or consistent or even our signature. We might as well all be a doctor dashing off an unreadable prescription.