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Top 10 amazing signatures throughout history

History has been littered with some pretty amazing signatures, from the wax seals of Medieval monarchs, to the wet signatures of world leaders today. If you’re looking for some inspo for your own signature, you could do far worse than to look at some famous ones from history. That’s why, in this article, we’ll look at the top 10 amazing signatures throughout history.

In this article, we’ll cover:

  1. Marilyn Monroe
  2. Anne Boleyn
  3. John Hancock
  4. Anna May Wong
  5. Picasso
  6. Tom Hanks
  7. Vincent Price
  8. Beyonce
  9. Diana, Princess of Wales
  10. Emily Dickinson

1. Marilyn Monroe

American actress and bombshell Marilyn Monroe became a legend in Hollywood, and is still one of the world’s most recognizable sex symbols today. But while many people remember her for ‘Happy Birthday, Mr President’ or for keeping her dress down during a gust of wind, we’re more interested in her signature.

With its distinctive loops and slant, this is a great example of an amazing signature that suits its owner. So if you’re looking to bring a little pizazz to your own signature, then taking some inspo from Ms Monroe is a great place to start.

2. Anne Boleyn

Henry VIII’s second wife is the stuff of legend. From her power plays in the English Court, to becoming mom to the legendary Elizabeth I, to her execution, Anne Boleyn’s life and death has fascinated people for half a millennium now. As she lived so long ago, her letters, with her signatures, are perhaps the last tangible thing left about her.

Anne Boleyn may have been a short-lived Queen of England, but she grew up in France. So if you’re wondering why her name is spelled a little differently in her signature, that’s why.

Now whilst we don’t want you to end up in history for the same reasons as Anne Boleyn, there’s a reason why her signature is among the most easily recognizable. 

3. John Hancock

Moving across the Atlantic, we come to John Hancock, the first Governor of Massachusetts. He’s a legend in the world of signatures, even having his own saying: Put your John Hancock on the dot. And we can see why.

It’s no overstatement to say that his signature is a work of art. The fact that he was able to reproduce it over and over again is also pretty incredible. For the sake of time when signing, it’s probably a bit of a stretch to recreate anything like this. But if you’re looking to add a little flare to your amazing signature, then look no further than John Hancock.

4. Anna May Wong

Staying in the US, we come to Anna May Wong, the first Asian American to make it big in Hollywood back in the 1920s. Sadly, the standards of the day mostly confined her to roles based on nothing more than stereotypes. 

Anna May Wong is the only bilingual entry on this list, and the only entry whose face will soon be on a coin! She was raised in California to Chinese-speaking parents, so she left her amazing signature in both the English and Traditional Chinese alphabets.

So if you have the wonderful ability to speak two or more languages that use different alphabets, why not bring a little multilingualism into your amazing signature?

5. Picasso

From the US to Spain, we come to one of the most famous artists of all time: Pablo Picasso. And, as he signed every painting of his, his signature is also among the most famous in history. 

With its thick, bold lettering and sharp, straight underline, Picasso provides a masterclass into how to have a distinctive amazing signature while keeping it simple. If you want to stand out without becoming a calligrapher, then Picasso is great to look at for inspo.

6. Tom Hanks

Hollywood’s uncomplicated legend Tom Hanks isn’t just a gem of a human, he also has an amazing signature.

You might look at the two-time Oscar winner’s signature and think, “In what world is that amazing?” But its amazingness lies in its simplicity. Hanks can probably write his signature in about two seconds, yet it’s clearly recognizable as his. It’s a great starting point if you want something simple yet identifiable.

7. Vincent Price

From an uncomplicated legend to a master of horror, Vincent Price’s performances in films like House of Usher and The Pit and the Pendulum have captivated audiences for years. But today we’re focusing on his scarily amazing signature.

It’s not every day you see a self-portrait in a signature, but Vincent Price managed just that. Whilst we don’t expect any of you to go to these lengths, Vincent Price’s signature is so unique that it had to be included on this list. When it comes to amazing signatures, Vincent Price is in a league of his own.

8. Beyonce

All-round pop goddess Beyonce has many wonderful qualities, and her amazing signature is definitely one of them. 

It’s a lot like Picasso’s in that it’s bold, simply underlined and easily recognizable. Looking at these two signatures is a great place to start if you’re looking for inspo for a great, easily replicable signature. As always, Beyonce delivers.

9. Diana, Princess of Wales

From one legend to another, Diana, Princess of Wales. The late Princess of Wales remains a style icon to this day, and is still deeply popular amongst Brits, even though more than two decades have passed since her tragic death. 

And a big part of her legacy is her signature.

It’s distinct, easily recognizable and continues to be seen in use by the charities and awards that bear her name. If you want an amazing signature with resonance, then Diana’s is a great one to look to for inspo.

10. Emily Dickinson

You could say of Emily Dickinson, “Because I could not stop to sign, the quill kindly stopped for me.” Emily Dickinson wrote poems that are still easily quotable today. But another one of her legacies is her signature. 

At a time when female writers often had to put male pseudonyms to their work, Emily Dickinson dared to write and publish under her real name, often signing off as just Emily. So her signature stands as a great example of how simply having your first name as your amazing signature can be a great way to make your mark.

But, as awesome as these signatures are, there is an alternative to them altogether.

A different way of signing

As great as wet signatures are, there is a better way of leaving your amazing signature these days: e-signing. Okay, it won’t involve you coming up with anything nearly as glamorous as any of these amazing signatures, but it will save you a lot of time spent on dull, manual admin tasks. 


The best part is, great contract software can even help you manage the entire lifecycle of your contract from start to finish. Now there’s something John Hancock could’ve used back in the day.

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