You might've heard both words.
What's a digitized signature anyway...? How it it any different from a digital one?
Let's have a look into the simplest and most efficient explanation to the question.
Here’s the meaning of a digitized signature. Picture it this way: a digitized signature is just that — a signature that has been... digitized. Meaning: it's been brought into the digital realm from the "physical" realm (e.g. from paper or from the sketching/signing pad)
To put it shortly: a digitized signature is an image of a handwritten signature (e.g. scanned handwritten signature, a signature made with a signing pad) that is NOT secured or properly made into a digital signature.
In other words: if you just scan/draw your signature without turning it into a digital signature, then it’s simply an image and not a proper signature.
What makes the difference then?
As per the ESIGN Act (2000), for a digital signature to be recognized legally, it needs to respect the following guidelines:
Because of guidelines 1 and 2 (Association and Attribution of the signatures), simply adding an image of the signature (therefore having a digitized signature) won't classify your autograph as a proper digital signature.
For instance: with SignHouse, we record a couple of identifiable and attributable details with every signature, such as:
This way, we can attribute each signing process to you, and you only.
Picture it this way: a digitized signature is just that — a signature that has been... digitized. Meaning: it's been brought into the digital realm from the "physical" realm (e.g. from paper or from the sketching/signing pad).
The digitized signature won't have all those identifiable elements, given that it’s just an image.
To create a digitized signature, you’ll have to:
1. Get a piece of pen and paper
2. Put down your signature
3. Go to the “Notes” app
4. Create a new note
5. Click the “Camera” icon
6. Select “Scan Documents
7. Take a picture of the signature you’ve just put down
8. Drag the corners so that your signature sits into an approximate rectangle (no need to make it perfect here, iOS will adjust this)
That’s it! That’s your signature!
If you’ve used recycled paper just like me (good thing for the 🌎!), you’ll need this extra step. Click on the 3rd icon, select greyscale. This way your signature will be black & white.
Now send this to your devices and feel free to use it as a PDF.
NOTE: This signature be won't legally-binding. See above.
A PDF signature is, by default, digitized. It might even be a digital signature.
If you want to use it as a digitized signature, it might be worth turning it into a PNG so you can easily add it to documents using SignHouse.
A PNG signature is better than a JPG one, as it’s got a transparent background. This way, if the document you’re signing is not perfectly white (or you’re signing over a dotted line), the transparent background will not alter what’s behind the signature).
In other words: the dotted line will still be visible, or the non-white background will not be messed up by a white rectangle.
A scanned signature will probably not be called a digital signature, but rather a digitized signature.
The reason being: a digitized signature is simply an image/scan of an actual signature, whereas a digital signature needs to respect a list of guidelines, including attribution and association of signature with identifiable details (see section 2 of this article).
A digitized signature isn't legal — because of the requirements of the ESIGN Act (1997), a signature has to respect a list of guidelines, including attribution and association of signature with identifiable details.
Because digitized signatures do not include any identifiable details such as the IP of the device you've used for the signature, the date of the signature (e.g. 1st of June 2024), the time of the signature (e.g. 10:08:43 AM), the approximate location, or others, they will not classify as a digital signature.
Other conditions have to be met too — see section 2 of this post.
If you'd want to create a digital signature that's 100% legally-binding, feel free to use our signature creator:
You can use SignHouse's signature generator, which is 100% free. You can choose between:
At the end, our Signature generator will put out a transparent-background signature that is ready to be uploaded.
A transparent-background signature works best, as that probably means you can use it in one of those rare situations where you either have a non-white background, or, on a white-background document, you still want the elements under the signature to be visible (e.g. a dotted line).
SignHouse's signature generator puts out transparent-background signatures!
Signing with a non-cursive signature is ok! If we're talking about digital documents, the signature will be validated by identifiable details that are separate from how it looks — that is taken care of by an eSignature software such as SignHouse.
If we're talking about physical documents:
Yes, it absolutely could be! Why: your electronic signature is not defined by how it looks. It could even be a glyph.
Your signature's validity is given by other aspects, as explained in this article of ours:
So yes, your signature can be your initials!
You can simply remove the background of your signature via Microsoft Word.
Ch Daniel is the co-founder of SignHouse and chairman of the CH Group. Daniel is leading the development of SignHouse's product, as well as strategising how else the company can reach its main mission: empowering 100M+ to use the world's most efficient document organisational tools.