History of Graphology | Graphology Timeline

BY SIFS India | April 06, 2022

History of Graphology | Graphology Timeline

For ages, people have used graphology to analyze a person’s personality. 

Sumerian merchants in 3000 BC noted their communications in the form of a readable script. Also, several ancient Chinese philosophers tried to interpret the personality of calligraphers from their writing style.

The journey of handwriting analysis does not stop here, and there are various instances in the past responsible for the evolution of this study in its present form.



The Italians made a significant contribution to graphology and imparted the status of a subject in the entire world. In 1622, an Italian doctor Camilo Baldi, wrote “How To Judge the Nature and the Character of a Person from His Letter,” the first book on this topic. In his findings, he concluded that there is no similarity among the handwriting of different writers, and all were unique.


18th Century

In this century in Britain, it emerged as a tool to analyze personality through handwriting. 



The word “Graphology,” a combination of two Greek words, "graph," meaning writing, and "ology," meaning study, was used for the first time by Abbe Flandrin and Jean Michon from Paris.

Thousands of handwriting samples were collected and studied by Michon before he published his analysis system. He also established the Graphological Society in Paris, which existed until World War II.



Crepieux-Jamin’s book “Character and Handwriting” helped lay the foundation of rules that prove graphology's genuinity. He believed that handwriting samples should be studied as a whole and not by combining analysis of individual traits. 



The book named “The Physiology of Writing,” justifying handwriting as brainwriting, was written by a child psychologist, William Peyer.


19th Century 

France laid the foundation to treat graphology as a subject for formal study. After that, it was taught globally, including in India, the US, Europe, China, and Israel, and was also used commercially.

Dr. Eric Singer, a refugee graphologist from Europe and a pupil of Dr. Ludwig Klages, taught handwriting analysis in England before the Second World War.



Dial Press of New York published handwriting samples analyzed by Edgar Allan Poe in the form of a book. 


1930 onwards

A famous German philosopher and father of modern graphology, Dr. Ludwig Klages, wrote several books. “Handwriting and Character” and “The Problem of Graphology” are some of his best works. A few of the principles he defined are used to date also by present graphologists.

Many groups were formed to discuss and spread its importance as a subject from the 1930s.


Research by Gordon Allport at Harvard Psychological Clinic in 1930 highlighted the usage of personality assessment through handwriting and was based on the theory that:

- Personality is persistent 

- Movement is an expression of personality 

- An individual’s expressive movements are consistent with one another. 


1949, 1950, 1953, 1954 

“Graphology and Everyman,” “The Graphologist's Alphabet,” “Handwriting and Marriage,” and “Personality in Handwriting” were published by Dr. Eric Singer in England.



Graphological psychogram, a chart was prepared by Klara Roman and George Staemphli. It was remodified after a few years by Daniel Anthony of New York.



“Handwriting Analysis Ltd,” a company by Francis T. Hilliger, Dr. Eric Singer's student, came into existence. He provided services in several domains that included personnel selection, tuition, and graphotherapy and worked as an ‘expert witness’ at London’s Old Bailey. He developed a technique to assess any handwriting characteristic that was also used for student examinations in the UK.



Analytical Graphology was re-classified by the USA Library of Congress under three categories:

- Diagnostic Graphology

- Documentary Evidence 

- Personnel Selection

A lot of effort was put in by Frank Hilliger, a student of Dr. Eric Singer, to make it acceptable as a professional subject in the UK.

He also has discussions with various graphologists regarding opportunities this field can offer.

The British Institute of Graphologists was established on October 9, 1983, at the Victory Services Club in London


On October 9, 1983

The British Institute of Graphologists was established at the Victory Services Club in London, and the event was marked by a massive gathering of around 148 graphologists. Also, the first edition of The Graphologist was released in the same year.


Final Words

With time, graphology has been accepted worldwide as a tool to analyze a person's personality. Europe has emerged as a leader, and many European universities have made the study of handwriting psychology a part of their Psychology curriculum.

If you want to learn how to analyze your handwriting or take it up as a profession, you can check Graphology Course offered by SIFS India. People from all educational backgrounds are eligible to do this course.

Related Read: How Graphology helps Managers Assess & Hire Employees