Monograms are not just for luxury brands (think LV, YSL, etc.), or embroidered towels in the South of the US.
Artisans and artists have used monograms since the Middle-Ages as proof of authenticity. We can think of them as artists’ signatures.
I recently landed on a database of artists (and designers) monograms on the International Advertising & Design DataBase’s website, and I had to share my favorite. You’ll notice that they skew towards German and Dutch (IADDB is based in the Netherlands).
Some are amazing. Look at Theodor Schultze-Jasmer’s! It is straight-up Sindarin!
I added Bach’s and Dürer’s because we can’t talk about monograms without mentioning theirs.
Why did artists stop using monograms?
Seriously. Why? Is it because monograms can be seen as logos and artists were not comfortable with this?
They are so perfect when we need square aspect ratio thumbnails on websites, or social.
They are eminently merch friendly.
Make your own!
You don’t need to know how to use Illustrator to create your own monogram. Here are two resources that don’t require any technical knowledge:
Share your favorite monogram with me on Twitter, or drop me a note in the comments 🙏