Vincent van Gogh’s weird email signature (hint: it’s not the panther)

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Email signatures and footers are like some weird amalgam of the new business card and storefronts combined,” writes entrepreneur Peter Sims on Medium. It’s incredible to see how diverse “e-sigs” and email sign-offs have evolved (with very little supervision in place), but it also puts more pressure to accurately reflect personality and be memorable, all the while providing necessary information. (Esquire has a great piece on translating common signoffs). This of course, has resulted in some #fails like ending with entire CVs, blinking images and neon font, or flirty xx’s—but there are always some interesting footers, too. Here are a few creative examples, going as far back as the 1800s, to inspire your own unique way to say “IT’S ME AND I’M ENDING THIS EMAIL. AND HERE ARE A FEW DIFFERENT WAYS TO REACH ME.” 

1. Minimalism

Canadian author Malcolm Gladwell, who wrote about the underrated value of first impressions in his book “Blink,” makes a statement with his stripped down signature.

“i’ll check it out! thanks for sending that peter. m.” [via Medium]

Removing all but the first initial of his name, Gladwell’s “m” works as a refreshing counterpoint to those complex signatures, especially from businesses, that almost reveal too much. A phone number might be useful, but home telephone, personal Twitter handle and map of how to get to your office becomes an eyesore.

This method probably works best when you have reached some notoriety, however, and are easily Google-able.

2. (>”)>  <(”<)

signature2

Image via Smashing Magazine

There’s so much potential in the world of ASCII art beyond just the bunny sign meme and roses sent through SMS. HTML email signatures with images can break or not show up on different email platforms or mobile devices; text, on the other hand, can be a more reliable method. And when created with discretion and a graphic design perspective, it can be eye-catching.

3. Just So You Know

signature

Image via Mashable

Kill two birds with one stone: make future conversations less awkward and very informative. Works best when emailing new people; we’re sure your sister and boss already know (hopefully).

4. Poetic

Take inspiration from the 1800s: famed Post-Impressionist painter Vincent Van Gogh often ended his letters to his brother Theo with “a handshake in thought.” Poignant and beautiful.

And now good-night, if anyone should ask after me bid them good-day. Do you still visit Borchers once in a while? Give him my regards if you see him, and also Willem Valkisand everyone at the Rooses’. A handshake in thought from

Your loving

Vincent

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