How to Sign a Card to a Friend

Be sure to always sign in your own handwriting, rather than type.

The way you sign your card to your friend can mean the difference between a heartfelt gesture and an etiquette faux pax. There are many options when it comes to card signatures, and they all have their own slightly different meanings. It is important to keep your signature in line with the overall theme of the card's message and to use a signature that is appropriate for your level of friendship and the particular occasion that merits a card.

Determine the occasion for the card. A card written to a friend for a serious occasion, such as a funeral or a get-well card, should have a message along the lines of "Thinking fondly of you" or "Keeping you in my prayers," so that you convey your understanding of their serious event. A card written on a birthday or happy occasion can be more light-hearted, such as "Hugs and kisses on your happy day" or "Have an exciting day."

Assess your level of friendship with the card's recipient. To your best friend who understands your sense of humor, use a funny message or phrase that the two of you will enjoy. For the friend who loves Star Wars, use "May the force be with you"; for the TV lover, sign with "Stay tuned." For the friend you have just met or recently became close with, use a less casual yet still fun signature such as "Ciao," "Take it easy," or "Ta-ta for now."

Sign the card in pen with your own handwriting rather than typing the card and your name at the end as a substitute for a signature. Signing the card yourself adds a personal touch that will be appreciated by anyone receiving a card from you, especially a friend. They will know you personally wrote a card to them instead of printing a standard template card. Be sure your signature is legibile -- do not simply scribble a squiggly line as if you are signing a document.

Cate Girone has been writing since 2010. She has worked in public relations and researched green travel for a British travel website. Girone holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the College of New Jersey.