How good can a signature made with a dozen pens look?

President Obama, like every one of his predecessors in my memory, signs important bills with a whole rack of pens. When I’ve tried it, the signature looks pretty ratty and stiff.

My guess is that nobody really cares what the signature looks like. They just want the souvenir pen.

I always assumed that the president signed multiple copies of the bill for various archives and such. Does he actually use multiple pens on a single “signature?”

There’s only one copy of the official Enrolled Bill. (It goes to the National Archives, I think.)

And yes, the president will use multiple pens to sign the single bill. (Not all bills, just big important ones.) Then he gives the pens to various people as souvenirs. This tradition goes back a long way, at least to Nixon I think.

It probably won’t if you use only pens of the same brand and make. Of course, even then you’ll have lots of dashes from placing a pen on the paper and taking it off again multiple times, but at least you avoid the shittiness effect of using different pens with differently sized tips etc.

Here’s a previous thread on this topic Note the link I made in the second to last post to a Time magazine article which says that the practice goes back at least as far as FDR.

Looks pretty crappy when you use two pieces of chalk held together to write punishment sentences on a blackboard to save time, plus my teachers could always tell and would make me do the whole damn thing over with a janitor in the room watching, so I’d have to agree that it woudn’t look as good as if he’d only used one pen.


The music teachers had a device that held 5 pieces of chalk used to draw perfect staffs.

I used to daydream of stealing one, just to use for the purpose you mentioned.

I will not steal the music teacher’s chalk holder.
I will not steal the music teacher’s chalk holder.