Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Rules of Monogramming--Revisited.

According to the recent key word searches, it seems that many out there in cyberspace are curious about the Rules of Monogramming. One of my first posts {back in February} was on this very topic. I thought I would republish it and add a few tidbits for y'all...

Monogram (noun) sign of identity usually formed of the combined initials of a name.

According to Webster, a monogram is a sign of identity. What better way is there to identify yourself? I am often asked about the appropriate order of a person’s or couple’s initials when creating a monogram. With this post I hope to shed some light on traditional and modern monograms. In the 19th and early 20th centuries the rules for monogramming were simple. Sarah Riching Woodall would easily recognize her monogram as

The earliest female monograms had the first name initial on the left, middle name initial on the right and last name initial larger in the center. This monogram is still used most often today. As monograms began to cross gender lines the traditional male monogram emerged as having the letters of equal size in order of first initial, middle initial, and last initial. This monogram is still used today by both males and females. The monogram for Steven Niles Woodall would read:

As times have changed so have the traditional monogramming rules. It is quite common to see a “joint monogram” for couples. The join monogram for Sarah & Niles Woodall would read:

Typically, the female’s first initial is on the left, the male’s first initial is on the right and their last name initial is larger in the center. However, this is not a hard and fast rule; often a couple will choose to put the male's name on the left and the female's on the right. If this is all to confusing for you, it is always safe to embroider the female's monogram on linens and the male's monogram on bar ware and forgo the trendy combined monogram.

Another common, more modern monogram is the Block Monogram in which the first initial and middle initial are stacked on top of each other to the left of a larger last name initial. Of course, the block monogram can also be used as a joint monogram as well with either all lowercase or all uppercase letters:

{I feel it is important to note that there is a distinction between a monogram and embroidery. To be exact, anytime thread is used to stitch a design (including letters) we call it "embroidery" however, when three letters are placed together it is called a monogram.}

That being said, it is also quite common to embroider names. The name can be in a countless number of fonts, adorned by a variety of different designs, the creativity is endless!

Do you have questions about monogramming or embroidery and the placement of letters or what is appropriate? I'd love to answer your questions, leave me a comment!


Preppy 101 said...

I just can't wrap my arms around the 'couple' monogram. Are a lot of people using it? I like the traditional rules of using the woman's monogram on certain things and the man's monogram on others...
I appreciate this post!

Monogrammed Teacher said...

You are like the Monogramming QUEEN!! Im so glad I have you as a friend!! :)

Thanks for the info!!

Sandy Toes said...

I think I told you or wrote you about the lady who monograms "bows" with the pick the colors and thread and she does it. You should do it!
-sandy toes

Anonymous said...

Oh my dear friend, Sarah, you always find a way to make my day. For some reason (maybe bc I have a true love for anything monogrammed... especially your stuff) but this post just made my morning! I actually cracked up a couple of times. I extra-loved this post!
p.s. I just figured it out... I love giving INSTRUCTIONS... I think this is why I loved this post. xoxo

ko said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ko said...

GREAT POST! I am always confused with the order of the monogram! :)

Liz said...

Very informative! I have always wondered what was proper when it came to newlywed gifts. THANKS! I love your stuff!

Mom x 2 said...

I have read that a monogram on a notecard should always only be from one person - not a couple, because logically, only one person writes the thank-you. Is that correct?

Barware should be men's, right? But what about a blanket (like a throw for a sofa) for a couple? Man's or woman's?

Kappa Prep said...

This was a wonderful post, thank you!!

elliotts said...

What about someone who doesn't have a middle name...but does have a double last name??!

Marie Hjorth-Johansen

How do we monogram??!