A monogram is a design based entirely on letters, which are often combined together to create a pattern or image.
Monograms have a long history. Their first recorded use was around 350BC, when they were used on Greek currency, as a way of determining which city each coin had come from.
The monogram has been adopted as a modern marketing tool, as they are easy to recognise and recall – and therefore make good logos.
These are examples of highly successful monogram logos – use these are inspiration when designing your own company monogram.
The origins of the famous interlocking Chanel monogram are shrouded in mystery. Some believe the design came from an intricate stained-glass window in the Chapel of Aubezine, others claim it takes inspiration from Château Crémat in Nice. Regardless of its history, it remains one of the world’s most recognisable symbols.
The EA monogram uses a custom font, designed specifically for the company. The unusual letter shapes are distinctive and memorable, and give the logo a modern, technological feel.
The simple Armani Exchange monogram is clean and sophisticated, with a striking serif typeface. It underwent a subtle evolution in 2009 – the colour was switched from black type on a white background to the current design, and the letters were made slightly wider.
Yves Saint Laurent
In 2012, Yves Saint Laurent made the controversial decision to rebrand to Saint Laurent Paris. This led to a public outcry, as people used the power of social media to demand the return of the iconic YSL monogram. Wisely, the fashion house listened to their fans, and kept the famous design.
Victoria and Albert Museum
As a museum of decorative arts and design, it was fitting that the V&A had a well-designed logo. The famous graphic designer Alan Fletcher came up with this timeless monogram in 1989.
In order to create a monogram for your company, you’ll first need to select a font. We’ve listed fifteen ideal typefaces – most of which are free. If you’re intending to use the font for commercial purposes, check the conditions before downloading, as some designers charge businesses a small fee.
Party at Gatsby’s
Quirky yet sophisticated, Party at Gatsby’s has slim lines and rounded edges. Mirror the curved letters (DG, or GP, for example) for a distinctive look.
Porcelain is an example of a script typeface. Designed to look like calligraphic handwriting, this font conveys sophistication and prestige.
Champignon is another popular calligraphic font. The lines are thinner and cleaner than in Porcelain, giving the typeface a classic feel.
Ecuyer DAX is a stylish font, designed with monograms in mind. The typeface is clear and easy to read, and the striped patternis both distinctive and memorable.
Rosart has a long history. Originally designed by J. F. Rosart in 1757, the font has been retouched and given a digital form. An embossed typeface, the shadowing makes the letters stand out from the page.
Like Rosart, Rechtman is an embossed font – although this is the only similarity between the two. Rechtman’s decorative curves and flicks are a world away from Rosart’s functional lines.
For a touch of art deco style, Debonair is the ideal choice. The unusual curved lines and stripes draw the eye, and give a sense of sophistication.
Heather Thomas is an unusual font, best suited to a modern company. The identically curved letters make this typeface ideal for monogram designs.
Precious is an apt description of this font. Although it’s difficult to read, the ornate design radiates class and style.
Less decorative than Precious, Shelley-Allegro is a delicate yet functional calligraphic font.
Little Lord Fontleroy
Classic with a humorous edge, this popular font is perfect for a business which wants to exude elegance, without taking itself too seriously.
Big Noodle Titling
Bold and striking, the Big Noodle Titling font would suit a modern company with a lot of personality and strength.
Although not as bold as Big Noodle Titling, Agency FB is just as distinctive. The thinner lines and unusual angles are offbeat and full of character.
Aparajita is commonly used for writing Hindi text. However, the simple serif design conveys authority and practicality, making it an ideal monogram font.
Bodoni MT Condensed
Bodoni MT Condensed is another simple serif font. Tall and thin, it has a slight edge over Aparajita in the style stakes.
When creating a monogram for your business, take care to choose the right font. Typefaces can convey a whole range of values and moods – be sure that the lettering accurately reflects your company’s personality. Well-crafted monograms are distinctive and timeless– take inspiration from the likes of Chanel, V&A, and Yves Saint Laurent.
This article was written by Matt Everard of Barrington International Freight, a logistics company based in United Kingdom.