White House Monogramming

The fact of the matter is that this blog post should be titled, Learn What the Rules of Monogramming use to be.  As it is with so many other things lately, the rules don't seem to carry as much weight as they use to and it is acceptable to do as you like.  Let's face it, there are many non-traditional cases where a traditional monogram can't be used.  But, lets say for the sake of those wonderful people who like tradition (me included!) I'm here to give you the rules as I feel they are worthy to know.  You can do with it what you want, right?

So, lets go back briefly to its origination.  According to Wikipedia, Monograms first appeared on coins, as early as 350BC in 2 Greek cities.  From there it was used as a signature by artists on sculptures, paintings and furniture.  A person's monogram is often like a fancy piece of art placed on linens, stationary and luggage.  As we pass through the years and technology has made it easier to monogram our possessions, some of that intricate detailing has been lost and more items are personalized than ever before.

The most traditional 3-letter monogram has the last name initial of the individual made larger while the first name initial appears to the left of it and the middle name initial appears to the right of it. So, if the person's name is Cathy Sue Willard, and Willard is the last name, then the arrangement of letters would be: CWS, with the last name initial set larger in the center, the C for Cathy to the left and the S for Sue on the right. 

Married couples may also create three-letter monograms incorporating the initial of their shared last name. Monogramming etiquette for the married couple varies according to the item being monogrammed. Linens, for example, typically list the woman's initial first, followed by a larger letter of the couple's shared last name initial and then the man's first name initial.

The Man's monogram is a little different.  In this case, the size and the location of the letters are different.  The middle name initial is actually in the middle.  So it is listed as first name initial, middle name initial and then last name initial, all the same size.

2 Letter Monograms can  be used when an individual does not have a middle name.  In this case, the size of the letters are the same using the first name and last name initials.

These are the basics.  There a many more cases of names that don't fall into these categories of tradition.  The good news, as I said before, is that the rules may no longer be relevant in your case and you can feel free to be a little "non-traditional".  We would love to monogram for you, your product or ours.  


Written by Janet White — March 07, 2015

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