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How indented impressions help handwriting experts determine document authorship and signature authenticity

indented impressions

When it comes to determining the authorship of writing or whether a signature on a document is genuine or not, indented impressions as well as what is signed or written on the page can give us clues. Generally when we write, depending on the pressure applied and the instrument used, indented impressions may be left on any sheets underneath. 

Examination for indented impressions can be very useful to forensic handwriting experts in a number of cases.

How do handwriting experts use indented impressions?

If text has been written on a page that is resting on other pages, perhaps of that document or another document, it may provide valuable evidence of who wrote it. Consider that when you sign a document it is generally the last page that requires your signature, so when you come to sign it you will often fold it over so it is resting on the back of the front page. The impression you leave by signing the back page may therefore be present on the front page or other pages of the document.  

Similarly, if a letter is written on a notepad, or on top of another document, depending on how much pressure is applied to the pen, indented impressions may be left in the pages beneath. The impressions may also give a clue to the author based on previous impressions also left in the same notepad, or it may be possible to make out phone numbers or other useful information in the indented impressions that can indicate the source.

Using specialist equipment and processes we can reveal faint impressions to help us determine authorship. How well we can do this and the amount of information we can decipher will depend upon a number of factors including:

  • Type of paper used – very thick or thin paper or coated paper can make it more challenging to find indented impressions
  • The type of writing instrument used 
  • Whether the paper has become wet or crumpled

Do you need the services of a handwriting expert?

If you believe that a document you are in receipt of has a forged signature or you have been sent an anonymous letter and need to prove who wrote it, our handwriting experts may be able to help. Using indented impressions and a number of other specialist techniques, we provide forensic handwriting analysis for members of the public, courts and the authorities. To find out more about our services or how we can help you, please contact us here.

I have been updated that none of the facts were proved against our member in relation to the allegations raised about the reference. Great news and thank you again for your assistance in this matter

Legal Officer, Sunderland


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