31 August, 2006

Creating Your Own Monogram

Monogram: noun, a sign of identity usually formed of the combined initials of a name.

So says our friend Webster. But did you know that they were actually created hundreds of years ago as a way for illiterate royals to authorize documents and proclamations? Well it’s true, I kid you not (see #36 “about me”). In fact, the famous Charlemagne him self, was unable to write his own name so he drew his monogram instead. Don’t say I never taught you anything useful!

So in honor of Charlemagne and all things monogrammed (and let’s face it, good and right with this world), I wanted to share a few helpful monogramming tips and resources for doing it yourself, if you are so inclined. You know I am all about giving back to the people and if it happens to be in form of monogramming today, then so be it. So here you go, peeps.

Thanks to Allie, I’ve discovered my new must-have program to play with for creating your own monograms, called Printing Press Extreme (and no, Ashley, I’m not burning a copy for you). Ahem, now, where was I? Oh yes, Printing Press Extreme! According to their website, this inventive software “…includes powerful new features such as patterned text, text on a curve, diamond and circle monograms, multi-style text boxes, pattern and border creators, labels, business cards, print to graphics file for email and offset printing and much more! Includes 285 patterns and more than 100 sample projects.” Yippee!

But if you don’t want to spend the $129 on the software program, then hop on over to My Fonts where you can purchase smaller monogram programs for much less. Now, I will share with you another little treat that Ms. Allie passed along to me is the oval monogram from Harold’s Fonts which you can download for free. Yes, that’s right, I said FREE! Horray! I find it a bit masculine, but it may be just what you’re looking for so go check it out.

Still want to attempt to design your own monogram but don’t quite know how to go about doing it? In that case, I suggest you either get aquainted with Adobe Photoshop, or you give it the ‘ol College try in Microsoft Word. To design your monogram in Microsoft Word, Choose Insert -> Textbox. Type and format the letter the way you like it with your preferred font. Do this three times (one for each initial). Now click on all textboxes and choose Format->Textbox. Choose Color: No Fill (so you can overlap letters) and Line: No Line. Select all letters, right click, and choose Group to lock in the arrangement. There you have it. You can now copy your image into Microsoft Paint and save in several formats, such as JPEG.

Now you all know me well enough by now to know that I’m not just going to send you on your merry way into the land of self-monogramming without a friendly little reminder of the correct order of initials for monogramming. So for those of you who need a little refresher course in the rules of monogramming, I will share the rules according to my Cranes Blue Book of Stationary: Tiffany edition. According to my little blue book, the proper initials for a single individual is first name initial, larger last name name initial, and middle initial (in that order). So, Susan Ashley Granger’s monogam would look like this:

The correct initials for married women to use are those which represent her first name, maiden name, married last name. If all of the initials are the same size, then they appear in that order. However, if you are choosing a monogram style where the center initial is larger, then the initial order should be first name initial, larger married last name initial, and maiden initial. Therefore, Nina Spooner Johnson’s monogram would look like this:

Now, here is the part that a lot of people mess up when it comes to monogramming rules. When you are using a monogram to incorporate both a husband and wife’s initials, the correct is order is woman’s first name initial, the joint married last name initial (larger), then man’s first name initial. The woman’s initial always goes first, such as the monogram of Kate and Alton Richards as shown.

Have more monogramming questions? Then just email me at monogrammomma@charter.net or post it here and I’ll get the answer for you. You know I love a good challenge! Now, I must say. With it being 2006 and all, rules for monogramming are changing, and for casual purposes (ie not formal note cards), it’s is perfectly fine and socially acceptable for a married woman who dropped her maiden name completely, to use her first name initial, larger married last name initial, fllowed by middle name initial. This is actually how my own casual stationary reads, as I completely dropped my maiden name when I became married. So have fun monogramming on your own today, as I’m off to clean the house. The mini monograms are off to pre-school so it’s preppy puppy and myself to prepare for the arrival of Mr. Monogram’s father and step-mother. We are looking forward to their visit for the long weekend and the boys have a whole list of things they plan on dragging them around to do while they are here. Needless to say, I’m not looking very fashionable today, unless you consider yoga pants, sneaks, and a yellow tee a fashion statement for cleaning. But hey, at least I threw a matching ribbon in my hair, right? Oh wait, and my gloves are yellow too!

P.S. Many thanks again to my blogging buddy, Allie, for all the great resources!


Erin said...

MM, I have just spent the greater part of my afternoon playing around with MS Word to create monograms...my employer would not be pleased, but I must thank you for the tips!

Monogram Momma said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Monogram Momma said...

LOL. Always hapy to provide a little afternoon entertainment, Erin!

Anonymous said...

Thank you!! I've been looking for a program/fonts that I could try my hand at creating my own stationary with!! You rock monogram momma!!!

(Fellow preppy Atlantan)

Monogram Momma said...

*wink* *wink*

ADP said...

I am just glad that someone else out there is as obsessed with monograms as I am!

Here is a question for you:
Where do you stand on the joint married monogram for things such as glassware and linens? I have always gone with the standard of the man's initials on glassware and the woman's on linens, but my husband thinks that we should use our joint monogram on things since we "jointly" own them.

Josephine said...

I have a question for you. My last name is Italian, LoMedico. I usually use just the L in my monogram, but should I use both the L and M? How would that work in the traditional first name, maiden name, married name monogram?

The EMG said...

MM... You are my new idol. I am so inept it will take me till Christmas to figure out how to do all this.. but I will get it!
Thank You also for the input on the married monogram as I am in the process of getting some monogrammed linens for the Prepster Family bed.
*Mwah* *Mwah*
~ Have a lovely LONG weekend!

Monogram Momma said...

Never fear, I have been out and about with the mini's but will answer everyone's all important monogramming questions later today. First, I must go catch up on As The World Turns (as that is what make MY world turn! ha!)

Tod said...

wearing my monogramed Ralph Lauren Polo right now!! (yes, of course pink w/collar up)


Randa said...

Lots of great tips here! If anyone gets frustrated trying to create just the right look in Word, etc. check out http://www.mymmonograms.com. Really inexpensive custom monogram design!

Anonymous said...

I have a question about monogramming with a single letter. For a woman do you use the first letter of the first name or the first letter of the last name? Is there any etiquette on this? For example for Judy Ann Fox, do you monogram with the J or the F?

Anonymous said...

I, too, am dealing with an Italian name. I'm monogramming a gift for young boy, Asher Rafael Di Maggio. Please let me know which letters I should use. Thank you!

Kristel said...

Your monogram tips were a godsend. Who knew there were so many rules and guidelines for slapping your initials on stuff.

Wynne said...

thank you so much for the information! it came in very handly for everything that needed engraving!

Hey Viv ! said...

Thanks for the tips. We are creating monogramed circle skirts We are researching monograms and monogram how to's and your blog came up.

Antonia said...

Just to let you know, Harold's Fonts / Monogram Makers are no longer free - $99!