Easily Create a Digital Signature with a Camera

I recently helped a professor create a digital signature for official letters. You can also easily do this with a camera.

  1. Sign a clean, white sheet of paper with a broad stroke pen.
  2. Place the signature on a flat surface and saturate it with light.
  3. Take a picture of the signature with the camera as close as possible without casting a shadow. In this case, I used an iPhone 3GS with Camera+, a third party camera-control app that provides additional features for editing photos.
  4. Copy or email the photo to yourself.
  5. Using Microsoft Word, click on Insert > Photo > File, select the signature photo. Adjust its size accordingly.
A note about using Camera+. The app allowed me to lighten the image and crop it. However, I also had to use The Gimp’s brightness and contrast controls on my Mac to create a signature that stood out from a solid white background. If you get more light on the original signature, you shouldn’t have to do additional post processing. It would be nice if Camera+ added basic brightness/contrast sliders for further image adjustment. Perhaps the developers will choose to do this in a future release.

Published by Jason W. Ellis

I am an Associate Professor of English at the New York City College of Technology, CUNY whose teaching includes composition and technical communication, and research focuses on science fiction, neuroscience, and digital technology. Also, I coordinate the City Tech Science Fiction Collection, which holds more than 600 linear feet of magazines, anthologies, novels, and research publications.