Asdirhyme bin Abdul Rasib: great signature – or the greatest signature?

I don’t have immediate plans to have a kid, and I certainly haven’t settled on how many I want. So while it’s a bit early to start picking out names, I do know one thing: they’re going to be relatively short.

Why?

Because I know from personal experience that a sixteen-letter name makes for an annoyingly-long signature – and I spent too many years of my life scribbling out the whole damn thing every time someone (OK, Visa or Mastercard) asked for my autograph.

So at some point, I starting using just initials, and while – short of scratching an X – that’s maximally efficient, it still feels like a bit of a cop out: every friend who catches me do it asks something to the effect of Really?

So when it came time to ‘sign’ ‘official’ documents, I had to come up a new solution. ‘MT’ wouldn’t cut it for potential donors, but reverting to the complete signature would dwarf my co-chair’s pathetic six letters. I don’t want to admit how many tries (or how much of Joan’s time) it took, but let’s just say that when I finally settled on something suitable, the first initial and last name were not originally components of the same signature:

The point of all this backstory is that I probably think too much about signatures, and am always on the lookout for ways to improve my own. So it was when, in the course of my work, I came across the world’s greatest signature, I felt the need to share it. It came my way in

Invitation to the APEC Low Carbon City Workshop from 7th-8th March, Kuala Lumpur

Unfortunately, the invitation was not addressed to me, and the document was not precisely where one might expect to find one of the world’s great signatures. It belongs to, as you might have gathered, one Asdirhyme bin Abdul Rasib, a Malaysian government official and one hell of a mouthful – it’s easy to understand why the man settled on signing something other than ‘Asdirhyme bin Abdul Rasib’. But more importantly, it’s easy to respect him for turning his signature into a work of art:

Honestly, had I come across it anywhere else on the document, I might have assumed an insect got caught in the photocopier. I wonder if you can trademark a signature.

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