This page does not cover the common questions asked by lay people who have no background in Handwriting Analysis or Document Examination , i.e.
"Can you tell anything from handwriting ?, what does it mean if the t bar is knife edged and slanted down ?, what does small writing mean ?, etc. This page covers the type of questions asked by clients
investigating handwriting problems.
Q. Can you tell who the writer is from one sample of handwriting?
Sometimes yes and sometimes no. It is recommended to have as many original standards of comparison as possible along with the original questioned letter. That is not always possible so that request writings may be taken in such a manner as to determine if the writer is trying to change his handwriting. If there are a significant number of identifiers in the writing and the questioned document it is possible to identify the writer.
Q. If someone tries to forge another person's signature is it possible to avoid detection?
In some cases that is true. It depends on the skill of the forger, the skill of the Document Examiner, the amount and types of exemplars available, and if the original document is still available. Some simulated signatures may appear so good , that on the surface, they appear authentic. However, if you view the ductus, under a 10 X microscope and measure the pressure patterns it is possible to determine if it is authentic. If the original questioned document is not available then the above observations can not be made and certainty beyond a reasonable doubt is not possible.
Q. Can you tell who the writer is if there are no standards of comparison?
It is generally stated that you need standards of comparison to determine the variation of the writer and if his/her writing identifiers exist in the questioned writing. However, depending on the type and amount of writing it is sometimes possible to determine if it is male or female and approximate background and age range within given degrees of validity. This requires a good background in handwriting analysis, psycho linguistics, SCAN, and having studied thousands of samples of handwriting from different age groups, sexes and classes of people from various regions of the country. Not all handwriting analyst have the background to do this.
Q. Is it possible to physically describe someone from their handwriting?
A. It is not common. It depends on the skill of the handwriting analyst and his/her supplementary background. Handwriting analysis alone does not
allow one to do that. Skilled artists with handwriting analysis and Yin & Yang background may be able to do that. Abraham R. Kaminsky, now deceased, was able to sketch a resemblance of a person's face from the
writing. Mr. Kaminsky was a very talented graphologist and accomplished artist in the 1960's who helped police in a number of cases by sketching the face of the writer of anonymous letters. You may find his book,
"Behold the Inner Universe of Handwriting Analysis" of interest. It was published in 1974 by O'Sullivan Woodside & Company.