“A striking monogram, combining the first letters of the full name or the first and last name is an enviable possession,” wrote Jean Wilde Clark in A Desk Book on the Etiquette of Social Stationery.
The book was printed by Eaton, Crane (yes, that Crane) and Pike in 1910. However, the monogram is still a possession envied — one that, in the age of e-communication, is as coveted as ever.
It is with this modern day appreciation that we take a look back at the history of the monogram — an art form most near and dear to Crane & Co.’s social stationery heart.
Like chocolate and peanut butter or Fred and Ginger, stationery and monograms just work perfectly together. Making sure that they do is our resident monogram artist, Jackie Brown.
Whether you’re into swirly or straight, diminutive or daring, she can turn initials into works of art. A monogram, after all, is the ultimate expression of individuality. So it made sense, then, that we get personal about, well, getting personal.
When did your interest in the monogram begin?
My interest in monograms began shortly after being hired by Crane. I was hoping to develop an art-based career. I found such an opportunity in making monograms. Monograms allowed me to become creative, thereby making them my art.
Personalizing correspondence can be a daunting experience, even for the most stationery savvy. When our new Creative Director, Rachel Ivey, decided to design suites for her entire family — husband, daughter, herself — she realized just how intimidating the process can be.
After all, personalized stationery is so, well, personal. Like the décor of your house or the clothes in your closet, your correspondence gives others a sense of your personal style. Throw in printing processes (Engraving or thermograph? Letterpress or debossing?), monogram style (Three initials? Entire name? One initial?) and ink/paper color (traditional black on ecru? Playful hibiscus on pearl white?), and suddenly you’re not just ordering some paper to scribble notes on anymore.
When it comes to designing stationery for your entire family, there are several factors to take into consideration: