Styling a Monogram
I heard a style watch for fall forecasting the comeback of monograms. Wanting to be trendy, I decided to design one for my scrap pages and journal notations.
I opened Adobe Illustrator, but found no font to inspire me at my fingertips.
Anxious to show progress quickly, I opened my iPad and turned a “G” doodle into a flower pot.
Back on my computer, I attempted a preppy style with three initials constrained in a circle, but had mild success. Also, I set my initials in JFRingmaster and warped the text in Illustrator.
For a frilly version of my monogram, I used the Illustrator Glyphs in the type menu to add ligatures for that look of aristocracy.
Striving for a monogram sharpened my eye to typefaces and gave me a greater respect for those geniuses who design them. My latest typeface love is Axiforma from MyFonts. I’m crazy about the font because it comes with many faces, from thick to thin, in regular and italic, so I bought it.
Finally, years ago my hubby had a calligraphy artist pen my name. I scanned the art and outlined it in Illustrator.
Order and Hierarchy of Initial Monogram
- Same-size letters in a straight row represent: first, middle, and last initials.
- Three initials with a large center initial and two smaller initials, on the right and left: large center initial for last name, with first initial to the left and middle initial to the right.
- A wedding or couple’s monogram is made with a large center initial (their last name), with groom’s first initial on the left and bride’s first initial on the right.
- Two letters, same size, represent your first and last initials.
- Stylized single letters represent your first name or your last name.
Block letters from my Art journal
Add monograms to not just identify belongings but to add a personal stamp to your lifestyle. Celebrate your name!
At Starbucks or whenever hubby Darrell needs to give his name at a counter for pickup, he uses his super initials, DW, which alleviates letters and time and rescues the barista from a comedy of errors … “Daryl,” “Darrel,” “Darel” “Darrell”?
Monograms in my future
First, I sketch or ink my monograms. And, I have a secret weapon. My husband is an illustrator. He leaves sketches like love notes on my desk when he knows I am working on an idea.
He left a monogram sketch on my desk yesterday of my nickname Pat and my last initial W.
In his usual cleverness, he inter-wove letters, adding an end swash on the W crossing back over the leading edge of the W forming a secondary T, to read both as my initials, PaW, or my nickname Pat W.
Think about your initials. Is there anything unique about the sequence of your letters that would make a distinctive monogram?
Play with the letters in your name, and create a distinctive mark, a custom monogram, all your own.
A monogram is a trusty friend…
Learn lettering from gurus famous for copperplate and a myriad of calligraphy styles
- For a deep dive into copperplate, London based scribe Paul Antonio – gives serious how-to tutorials on his youTube Channel, paulantonioscribe. As well, he has a manual on copperplate released this year.
- Another Londoner, Seb Lester – youTube Channel and website, plus social media links.
- Molly Thorpe has books, classes, and tutorials. Her style is lovely. Find her Molly Suber Thorpe Channel on youTube. She has an excellent video tutorial on digital hand-lettering with ProCreate on the iPad.
- If you have an iPad, download the popular ProCreate App, one of the more popular digital tools for lettering and illustration.
- Subscribe to Adobe CC, like I have, and have a font library at your fingertips.