How To Do a Wet Signature on PDF: 5 Steps

Kamran Shafii |

While digital signatures are fast becoming the mainstream signature type for signing official documents, it doesn’t sound the death knell for wet ink signatures. In fact, the rapid evolution of e-signing tech and platforms like jSign has enhanced the collection of wet signatures on PDF. 

Today, you can create and collect original physical signatures electronically to sign business documents such as purchase orders, sales contracts, and legal documents like divorce papers.

If you’re wondering what’s a wet ink signature and how to create one online, you’re in the right place. Learn about wet signatures and the step-by-step process of creating one using a reliable electronic signature option such as jSign. 

What Is a Wet Signature?

A wet signature is a handwritten signature on a piece of paper. With wet signatures, you and your relevant signatories create a signature the traditional way by writing it down on a physical document using a pen with wet ink, hence the moniker “wet.”

But if you’re like most modern business owners and used to signing electronic documents online via mobile devices and computers, the million-dollar question on your mind is, “Can I create a wet signature online?” 

The answer is yes. You can create an online handwritten signature in five simple steps, as we discuss below. 

5 Steps to Create a Wet Ink Signature

Here’s how to create a wet signature on PDF in five quick steps:

Print Your Physical Document

Say you want to sign sales contracts, financial records, legal paperwork, or job offer letters. After receiving the electronic forms of these documents, you should print and get the physical copies. 

If you were to sign these documents online, you wouldn’t have to get hard copies as you would complete the entire process electronically on your jSign platform. But since you want to put pen to paper and sign these documents physically, you need them in hard copies. 

Sign the Printed Document

With the hard copies in hand, you can write your pen signature on every signature field in your documents as required. You want your handwritten signature to be unique and professional, especially when signing crucial business documents such as purchase orders or employment contracts. 

To make a professional physical signature, consider the following:

  • Be creative with your name letters: Play around with your name letters to create a unique cursive format for your handwritten signature. Make your stylized signature as original and unreadable as possible so it’s hard to replicate. 
  • Practice your handwritten signatures to gain consistency: When your physical signature is identical on all of your signed documents, it enhances their credibility and authenticity. That’s why it’s best practice to perfect your pen signature before appending it to any document. 
  • Your signature portrays your self-image: The recipients of your signed documents will subconsciously relate your physical signature to your personality. Your handwritten signature can show if you’re sophisticated or easy-going. As such, remember what image you want your signature to convey to your document recipients when signing so you strike the right note with them on the first impression. 

Proceed to the next step when you’ve created a unique pen signature and signed your documents error free.

Scan the Physical Paper Document

This step involves scanning the signed paper documents to your computer. The most important thing here is to get the highest-quality image of the documents so that all of their content and the signature are easy to view. 

The physical signature is considered an electronic signature once you’ve scanned it to your computer. This makes it a legally binding agreement. That’s why you must scan the wet signature using the best resolution to enhance the legibility of the image captured.  If the scanned image isn’t clear, you should perform the scanning process again until you get it right. 

Save the Scanned Image

Save the image of the scanned document and signature to your computer or mobile device as a PNG or JPG. This is the image you’ll convert to PDF in the next step and upload it to an e-signature platform like jSign. 

Turn the Image File Into a PDF Document

Use a secure online solution to convert the PNG or JPG file to PDF. When you’ve successfully converted it to PDF format, follow these steps to complete your wet signatures on PDF:

  • Log into your jSign account
  • Upload the PDF documents to Jsign
  • Add the names of all signatories of the document, including yourself 
  • Attach an equal number of signature placeholders 
  • Save the PDF document on jSign and name it appropriately 
  • Add due dates for any pending signatures
  • Click the Finish button to send the  PDF documents to all your recipients

Avoid the Hassle of Physical Signatures With a Digital Signature Software

Doing a wet signature on PDF isn’t as easy as e-signing contracts and other electronic documents. The benefits of electronic signatures surpass wet signatures by a large mile. When signing electronic documents via jSign, you’ll avoid the back-and-forth process of downloading, signing,  scanning, and converting documents. You don’t need to practice handwritten signatures or struggle to scan them the right way.

Instead, use jSign to manage electronic records from the comfort of your computer. You can sign documents online with jSign’s electronic signature service. Sign online, send, track, and collect electronic signatures in minutes! jSign is offered by the makers of eFax, the world’s #1 online fax service. We’re part of the leading cloud services company Consensus, Inc. (NASDAQ: JCOM), which has 24 consecutive fiscal years of revenue growth and over 3,100 employees in 50+ offices around the world.

 jSign provides simple, secure electronic signature services. Our use of blockchain technology ensures the integrity of each document, so you can carry out your business worry free.

Check out our pricing plans to find the best fit for your business needs.


What is a wet signature?

A wet signature is a hand-drawn signature with ink. The “wet” part of “wet signature” means the ink, which is wet when you apply it to the paper. A wet signature used to be the only legally binding way to execute an agreement or contract. Digital signatures are just as legally binding as wet signatures thanks to the Electronic Signature in Global and National Commerce (ESIGN) Act enacted by the US government in 2000.

How do I do a wet signature?

You can create a wet signature by printing a document and signing it with a pen. The “wet” part of the phrase refers to the ink, which is wet. If you have an electronic document you need to wet sign, you’ll need to print it out on paper and then sign it with a pen or marker. A digital signature is a convenient alternative to wet signatures and allows you to sign the document without printing it. 

Can I wet sign a PDF? 

The only way to wet sign a PDF is to print it, sign it, scan it, and resend it as a PDF. However, this often causes the text elements of the PDF to be converted to an image. This is just one of the many reasons why a digital signature is considered an easier, faster, and more convenient solution. You can legally sign any document using jSign digital signatures. 

Kamran Shafii
Manager, SEO Content

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