A Brief History of the MonogramMonogram comes from two Greek words meaning single (“mono”) and letter (“gramma”). The design is two or more interwoven letters, creating a unique character that is an abbreviation of a name or names. Monograms denoted royalty and artistocracy – commonly used on coins and other public pieces. Even today, royal monograms are used throughout Europe. The earliest examples date back 2,300 years ago, to Ancient Greece. Most ancient monograms are found on coins — identifying kings and rulers.
During the Renaissance, artists and craftspeople used monograms to mark their work. The marks were engraving into plates, carved or burned into the wood of furniture.
Printers used monograms as a publishing mark, and papermakers incorporated their letters into distinguishing watermarks. Victorian monograms could be quite elaborate, with florid decorations and illustrations. Two of Mark Twain’s illustrate the range of styles. The Corn Logo is especially beautiful:
Contemporary Monograms for Weddings
Engaged | Enchanted | Entwined
Guidelines for Designing a Monogram:
Keeping your last name? Have a hyphenated name? This is a handsome example of a 4 letter Wedding Monogram:
Same Sex Marriage: There can be a joining of 4 initials or a joining of the two initials. If one person is taking the other’s name, then the standard 3 letter format applies. This is another example of an exquisite letter arrangement:
Monogram as Watermark: A custom watermark in the paper is a status symbol going way back. (How cool is a watermark?) To replicate that effect, it can be used as a background printed in a pastel ink.
A custom monogram can be displayed at the top or bottom of a body of text, on the back flop of the envelope, and so appropriately, on the front panel of your thank you notes.
“I’d like to add my initial to his monogram Tell me, where is the shepherd for this lost lamb?” The beautiful intro to the classic “Someone to Watch over Me. Sung perfectly here by Amy Winehouse: