How Do You Make Your Autograph Unique?

Every now and then, someone asks me to sign their board game. (A game I designed, not a random game.) It always makes me feel good, and they walk away with something they wanted. Win-win.

This happened a bunch of times at a recent convention, and I’ve decided that I need to do something more special whenever someone gives me the honor of signing their game. It’s a unique mark, but if I’m always just signing my name the same way, it’s less unique.

A few times when I’ve autographed the inside lid of a box, I’ve included a short note specific to that person. Though even that feels a little weird, because what if they someday sell it or pass it on to someone else? Also, writing in the inside of a box is awkward–it’s difficult to write much at that angle.

So I’m trying to think of something short, snappy, clever, variable, and not too personal to write above or below my name when I autograph games. A go-to method that I can always remember and quickly plug in something special for that moment.

I don’t know what this should be, so I’m genuinely looking for help here. A bad example is if I always wrote down the color of the person’s shirt above my signature. Obviously that doesn’t make sense, but I’m using it as an example because it’s unique without being too personal, it’s something I can think of at a moment’s notice, it’s easy for me to remember and conceive of even if we’re in a loud place, and it’s short.

What do you think? Any ideas? What method would you use if people asked for your autograph every now and then?


22 Responses to “How Do You Make Your Autograph Unique?”

  1. Candy Mercer says:

    First thing that comes to mind is something related to winning games – top of head example – May the dice be ever in your favor. I know you don’t really design with dice, but something along those lines. Do you have a personal gaming motto? Mine is Never Give Up which would not be awesome, but that would also be cool.

    • Jamey Stegmaier says:

      Thanks Candy! That’s a neat motto. I don’t have a specific saying like that, but perhaps I could think of one and plug in something unique to that moment.

  2. foodcravejas says:

    Jamey Steg(not Stone)maier

  3. Joe says:

    Start numbering you signatures. Aka. The next thing you sign put #1 next to it. Then just keep a note on your phone to remind you what number you are at.

    It’s what I do. Currently at…. 0. 😂😂😂

    • Candy Mercer says:

      love it. pros: somewhat warholian. and a nod to the collector quality of his products, cons: could be seen as arrogant, doesnt feel like Jamey.

    • Jamey Stegmaier says:

      I’m intrigued by this! I would need to remember the previous number I wrote, but it could work.

  4. Gary Van Zandt says:

    Me 2 U Jamie S.

  5. dmvp says:

    If you’re good at drawing, you could add a little picture. I sign my name with a smiley face, though I’m not famous or anything and have never been asked for an autograph. 🙂 You could also just add your cats names as a bonus?

  6. Daniel Newman says:

    I’ve been asked to sign my games a couple of times and it always feels super weird and I just try to get it over with as quickly as possible.

    • Jamey Stegmaier says:

      I used to feel that way, and it still feels weird to mark up beautiful art with my ugly signature, but I try to remember that what’s weird for me might be really special to the other person.

  7. tmac80 says:

    “Buy my next game!” – Jamey

    – Cutebuns09

    – Draw a tiny picture of a stick person on the inside of the box, put the person’s name and a note that reads, “Now you’re a character in Stonemaier Games!” – Jamey

    – [very personalized derogatory comment] – Alan Stone (just kidding!)

    – “Signing this box increases its value by $20. I’m not saying you HAVE TO give me $20, but I’m going to hold out my hand as you finish reading this juuuuuussst in case. Wink-wink. Nod. Hint. Ahem. (Find your wallet, if you haven’t already.)” – Jamey

    • Jamey Stegmaier says:

      LOL this are excellent.

    • Candy Mercer says:

      Jamey does not seem to have the problem of getting people to open their wallets 🙂 Judging by all the comments about people wanting to throw money at their computers screens every time he announces something. I mean a box, a box! (not being snarky, I love it!)

  8. An easy one would be to include a note about where you are when you sign it:
    “Gen Con 2018” etc.

    The other neat thing would be to carry some (mostly) inconsequential promo cards for your games. Then when they ask you to sign the game, you can sign the promo card that they can actually use in the game.
    -Special encounter card for Scythe with blank space for you to write a little note “Jenny meets Jamey at Gen Con 2018, gain 1 popularity”
    -Special visitor card for Viticulture, “Jamey shakes your hand and slips you a coin, take 1 lira.”
    -Special Recruit for Euphoria, etc…

    Then they get your autograph, but they also get something tangible that makes actually playing the game more special. Every time they draw that card while playing, they will remember the minute you took to make their specific game more special. You can still sign the box if they want, but the special card would be something they could keep even if they eventually sell or trade away the signed game.

  9. Charles Dionne says:

    I’ll accept any or all of the above on my copy of Charterstone this August. 😉

  10. Joseph E. Pilkus III says:

    Jamey,

    It’s an interesting question…for the last few years, if I saw someone at a convention and I happened to buy their game, I certainly didn’t hesitate to ask them for their autograph. A few years ago at Arkham Nights, I bought Elder Sign and managed to get Richard Launius and Kevin Wilson to sign the rules (and get a picture).

    Flash forward a few years later to 2017 and people who bought my first published game at NovaCON were asking me for my signature. The first time someone asked about the signature, they asked my daughter who was assisting me at the booth, “Do you think we could get his signature?” to which she immediately responded, “Him, of course!”

    Cheers,
    Joe

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