Case Study…. Claudette Colbert

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I recently did an on the spot, off the cuff, review of a signature. This is something I don’t normally do as there are a number of different elements that you want to take into account to provide an accurate analysis.

However this signature was so remarkable that I agreed to do a quick mini-analysis.

What caught my attention first?

Before I give you my analysis, I invite you to look, and I mean really look, at the signature. What impressions of the writer do you make from it? I’ll give you the same information that I had to work with: female, actress.

To me, the most striking feature of this signature is how the last name is written on a separate line and illegible. I couldn’t make out what her last name was and had to be told what it was after the analysis. Studies have shown that people who do this to their last name are distancing themselves from the family name and prefer to be addressed informally, by their first name.

As I knew the signature was that of an actress, I said that while Claudette may or may not be her real name, her last name was a stage name that she felt no connection to. She would come across as warm and friendly, preferring to be called by her first name.

Notice that I said “come across as” because we can only see her public persona from her signature, not her real one. Remember that to do a full analysis of the real person we need to examine the signature in comparison to their private handwriting. (See my previous post about Marilyn for more about that topic.)

Another striking feature of this signature is the expansiveness of it. It is quite large and takes up a lot of space on the page. This indicates two main things. One, she is confident and likes to be the centre of attention (a good thing for an entertainer!) and two, she is not going to be known as a person who is frugal or saves her money. So my analysis was she delights in being in the spotlight, knows what she wants and that she enjoys the luxuries and extravagances that fame and fortune can bring.

The final striking trait found in this signature is what is referred to as an ascending baseline. That means it is not written in a straight line across the page. It is ascending upwards.

When combined with her large, bold writing, it shows us that Claudette would project a healthy, energetic, positive outlook on life and that she lived with enthusiasm.

So how did I do? Let’s take a look:

  • Born Émilie Claudette Chauchoin. She was called “Lily” by those who knew her.
  • Peter Rogers said, "Claudette was extravagant; I never, ever saw her question the price of anything."
  • “The characters Colbert created were relaxed and charming, even when embroiled in outlandish situations; she imbued them, seemingly effortlessly, with intelligence, style, warmth, and humour. The actress was also personally noted for those qualities as well as for her professionalism (despite her much-publicized insistence that she be photographed only from the left).”

What do you think your signature tells the world?

If you want a personal signature analysis competed email me at:

-Teresa, Handwriting P.I.

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