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Basics Of Graphology

Updated on August 9, 2014

There’s enough of graphology basics out there in the form of handwriting analysis apps, tools and guides that adding this seems unnecessary. Yet I feel that whatever is there to learn is made difficult for people like me either by expanding the basics to extreme lengths, making it impossible to read graphology material and absorb it, or adding too much certainty to the personal point of view where there's a common knowledge that no universal standards exist on the subject.

When I first heard of graphology and how it tells about personality traits I searched every place on the Internet I could lay my hands on. But after a while I understood that there's no hard and fast rule. Understanding of graphology comes with personal experience of social interaction and a keen sense of observation. In other words instead of memorizing each and everything from 500 pages book or watching any video over and over again to understand the psychology of a person we do the opposite: we learn some basics, observe people we're familiar with, try to relate their writings with their personalities, look for exceptions and then generalize groups. In this way we memorize our first hand experience for future reference and expand our very own knowledge of graphology.

Since I have reached this point all I am going to do is to try to pass on the basics of analyzing handwriting, which I gathered from different sources and understood as best I could, and over which you can test and prove your experiments on the personalities. It may be the case that what you'll find out yourself will be completely different from others observations but that’s the way graphology is.

The writing itself is that much natural it alone conveys a good deal without us having any prior knowledge of graphology, but only if we're keen observers. There's no rocket science or complexity involved. In fact graphology is not a science and it won't make you a forgery expert but it does have reality. Which means you may find yourself completely wrong about some personality trait you linked with a graphology aspect of a person. Simply accept it! No need to be know-it-all.

As I have already said it's an open field. Do experiments and learn everything all by yourself. You just require some basics at the start and that's it. So explanation of some graphology basics is given one by one as under:

Writing Pressure

A small child is writing something on his notebook with pressure to the extent that the back side of the page is showing the markings visibly. What do you make of it? Yes, passion, obsession, desire, fearlessness, commitment. It’s as easy as that. Higher the pressure writer puts higher he is on these accounts. A normal pressure means? Obviously a stability, self control, desires in check and so on. And lower pressure means indifference, low spirits etc. It’s upon you to judge the person and form results. So check the backside of the page of any person you know, preferably a friend, and see what his writing pressure conveys. If it’s high which word out of the set suits him best? Since you already know him you’ll know in an instant.

Compare Slants With Standing Postures
Compare Slants With Standing Postures
Right, Left & Straight Writing Slants
Right, Left & Straight Writing Slants

Writing Slant

Again it’s natural. Consider any person in reality. Generally if he’s straightforward, bold, difficult to influence, hard to impress, neither extrovert nor introvert, and fearless then how best you can imagine his standing posture? Of course he'll stand perfectly straight. Similarly hesitation, horror, terror or fear means a person's upper body going backward. And finally a bent forward person is easy to attract, easy to influence. An extrovert and a social person. You must have seen a courtier bowing before a king. What does that convey?

Just apply these basics to the writing and test them. Straight slant: a straightforward person. Forward slant: Easily influenced, social person, an extrovert. Backward slant: Person lives in the past, or likes the past, maybe nostalgic, fearful, introvert, unsocial etc. Again look for friend’s handwriting and check which sort of person he is.

Do note that any slant going extremely right or left means extreme case. That's why you can learn graphology yourself. No rocket science!

Different Writing Sizes
Different Writing Sizes

Writing Size

A person whose heart doesn't give an extra beat when speaking in front of a big gathering must be a fearless fellow be it a student, a politician or any other orator. This you may see in the size of writing. Just compare the size and check the confidence of the writer. If it’s too small the person in question would probably die than go to stage facing an audience. Having normal size and person may do well when pushed but won’t volunteer. As usual exceptions may exist and that's the rule in graphology. You just have to keep them in mind.

Page Space Taken By Writing
Page Space Taken By Writing

Writing Space

I've seen myself people filling every possible place on a page they are writing on and others just writing broadly and using as many pages as they could. In the first case the writer either knows the value of resources and tries to use them efficiently or he’s is a miser. Probably neatness will set them apart. In the later case the writer values less the money and enjoys spending. You’ll see it’s almost impossible to change the spending behavior of people and in other words changing their page filling or leaving attitude.

This test is better performed on a blank sheet though writing on any document can give you an idea.

Writing Neatness

The first impression is enough to form an opinion on writing neatness. No indentation, full stops missed, and things such as additions due to afterthoughts all shows an untidy writing which naturally shows an unkempt and unpunctual person. Probably his desktop is full of unnecessary files, room is always unordered, and personal belongings not arranged. The opposite of this is a person with neat writing which shows punctuality and neatness. A well ordered person who likes everything in place. Not hard to check your friends at all!

Space Between Words
Space Between Words

Words Closeness

It’s another simple feature of graphology. The closer the words are the closer a person is to others or he relies more on others than necessary. It does not necessarily mean he is social. He may me be a silent figure with too many attachments, emotional or other. The wider words mean a person is loner. Again it does not necessarily imply he is unsocial. He may live in a shell where he talks too much outwardly but in reality lives a lonely life.

Fast Writing: Badly Formed 'h', 'i', 'm' & 'e'.
Fast Writing: Badly Formed 'h', 'i', 'm' & 'e'.
Slow Writing: Well Formed Letters.
Slow Writing: Well Formed Letters.

Writing Speed

A slow writer is not in a hurry to finish the tasks at hand. But that maybe a plus point since he may like doing things slowly but perfectly. On the other hand fast writers may do work quickly but compromise the quality. It maybe so that slow writers are more dedicated and they don’t leave their big plans in the middle and fast writers lose their hearts too soon. Do check for fast writers badly formed letters like ‘m’ ‘n’ ‘w’ ‘u’ ‘e’ ‘I’ and ‘h’; if they are left uncompleted too often(even if corrected later), it’s the desire to reach goal as quickly as possible without giving attention to finer details or it may show a lack of dedication.

Different Writing Directions
Different Writing Directions

Writing Direction

For this basic graphology feature to examine we must have a writing on a blank page. A stable writing that goes straight does not tell us much except of the stability. Other factors are to be checked. If it goes upwards it’s the sign of high-spirited mood, optimism or any related phenomenon. If it’s going downward the low spirits or pessimism may be the case. It may vary from day to day which means inconsistent mood but if it’s permanent then it’s a part of personality. Writing direction of teachers is a good source to check their mood on any given day because handwriting is easier to observe on a white board.

Sharp Contrast Between Writing & Signature Sizes
Sharp Contrast Between Writing & Signature Sizes


The last and the most important in the list of graphology basics is signature. Signature is sort of a business card which we make for others more than for ourselves. So always keep in mind that it must be something which a person is trying to show to the world and may or may not be a reality.

All the basics I have mentioned so far apply to the signature as well. The only difference is that this is what a person would like others especially unknown people to know about him. Therefore it must always be compared with the writing sample to form an opinion. If the signature style is quite similar to the general writing a person tends to be what he actually is otherwise he is keeping an outward appearance different from his original self. This means the sincere most person you can find is the one having all the handwriting features similar to the signature which implies he doesn't want anything to hide on purpose from any person he meets.

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