Specialist handwriting examination is the study and comparison of questioned handwriting, signatures and numerals. There may be a signature, paper containing questioned handwriting or numerals or offensive graffiti. I shall also require several verifiable known specimens of genuine handwriting, signature or numerals to compare against the questioned material. These genuine specimen signatures need ideally to have been made for purposes other than that of analysis.
In all cases it is helpful to have as much text as possible for comparison. I need to compare like for like: it is not efficient to compare capitals against lower case letters, for example. If the questioned sample is written in capitals I also need to study appropriate comparison materials written in capitals. If lower case writing is being questioned I need to examine lower case comparison writing.
Wherever possible the original documents need to be provided for an accurate examination to be made. Good digital copies and high resolution photocopies or photographs may be acceptable but the evidence can be less compelling.
The documents will be examined under various conditions and lights, high magnification and microscopically and then compared to verifiable sample material. The construction, line quality, form, movement, fluency and proportions of the questioned material are assessed and then compared with the same features in the comparison material. An assessment of the significance of any similarities or differences is then made in order to provide an opinion regarding the authorship.