As your signature design evolves, the notion of hierarchy and inheritance becomes relevant. At the most basic level (when you have created a new blank signature and no elements have been added), you have a blank canvas.
Behind the scenes, this is the first level of the signature hierarchy and has its own set of properties.
It can also be referred to as the overall parent element, and any properties applied at this level are inherited by the signature elements that you add subsequently.
You can, of course, define properties for any of the signature elements (also referred to as the children). This will override the inheritance from any of their parent elements. And as the structure evolves, other elements will become parents themselves.
Suppose you add a table to the signature - you can define properties for the table as a whole (the parent) and/or for individual cells within it (also, any elements you add to the cells can inherit properties from the table cell, or have their own properties).
Also, some signature elements have a default parent/child hierarchy because they are groups of individual fields. When you add one of these elements, each of the individual fields inherits the properties of the group - so they will all look and behave in the same way.
However, you can select any individual field and apply their properties - this will override the group properties for this field. For example, you might add Address Fields but then select the ZipCode field to set its font style to bold.