Support Hyperallergic’s independent arts journalism. Become a Member »

Support Hyperallergic’s independent arts journalism.

“The pen is ready.” So wrote Kellyanne “Alternative Facts” Conway, one week before Donald Trump’s inauguration, in an ominous tweet no doubt sent while cackling gleefully. And Trump, indeed, has been busy signing away throughout his first week as president, appending his signature to eight presidential memoranda and four executive orders. Approving executive actions from the start of one’s presidency is normal — Barack Obama actually signed one more than Trump in the same time period — but we’ve never had anyone as unpredictable and irrational as the sentient cheeto take the role as Leader of the Free World. So when his pen hits paper, shit can really, really hit the fan.

But there’s a bit of levity amid the terrifying possibilities laid out in these documents. Just check out his presidential mark:

Donald Trump’s signature (via Wikimedia)

Look at that heavy scribble! It’s aggressive, all pointy and jagged, with the letters all cramped together so they seem to suffocate. It looks more like “SualesSuuuuuugh,” which I imagine is the sound a man makes when he’s run out of ways to explain away his lies or has just finished a marathon meal in which every course was a steak cooked medium well. According to Quartz, it takes Trump a whole six to seven seconds and over 30 strokes to render his signature in full, so this is clearly a mark he treats with care — like his personal work of art — or maybe the gesture just requires all his concentrated effort. Those of previous presidents, in comparison, were clearly done with carefree flourishes; they’re nice and airy.

About two years ago, Politico asked handwriting analyst Michelle Dresbold, a graduate of the Secret Service’s Advanced Document Examination training program, to examine the signatures of presidential candidates (although it could have apparently asked Trump himself). Her apt response towards the election’s winner:

Donald Trump’s signature has absolutely no curves, only angles. Curves in handwriting show softness, nurturing and a maternal nature. Angles show a writer who is feeling angry, determined, fearful, competitive or challenged. When a script is completely devoid of curves, the writer lacks empathy and craves power, prestige and admiration. Besides the bigheadedness that shows in this script, there is something else that is rather over-sized—the “p” in “Trump.” This large phallic symbol shouts, “Me … big hunk of man.”

The simple pairing in his inauguration invitation truly exemplifies this:

The second page of Trump’s inauguration program (via

Twitter, of course, has had a field day with Trump’s standout signature, with users noting that, though it may be jarring, it really does suit the 45th president to a T:

The Latest

Claire Voon

Claire Voon is a former staff writer for Hyperallergic. Originally from Singapore, she grew up near Washington, D.C. and is now based in Chicago. Her work has also appeared in New York Magazine, VICE,...