From ancient beginnings to modern-day uses, monograms have played a major role in our culture. What is often seen as simply a form of identification has a surprisingly rich history and artistic personalization purposes.
An Ancient History
The earliest known evidence of a monogram is found on 6th century B.C. Roman coins, which were marked with the ruler’s initials to authenticate and legitimize them.
The king most often credited for establishing the monogram is Charlemagne (768-814). Charlemagne’s military conquests were publicly marked with his monogram, a symbol that was understood to communicate power and dominance across the differing languages of the time.
From the days of Charlemagne through the late 1600s, a monogram was a symbol of the powerful. Royalty and military leaders used their initials to form a personal brand to remind others of their position and influence in society. Monograms were used to authenticate official documents, mark government buildings, and to identify objects belonging to the ruler in power.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, economic growth and the aesthetic trends of the Victorian Era, combined with the development of America, created new groups of prosperous people who had social aspirations to adorn their personal and household possessions.
Monogramming came in and out of popular culture throughout the 20th century. The popularity of personalization often reflected the global political and economic climate. Before World War II, monograms were popular and harmonious with many homemaking and personal style trends. It was essential to have your clothing and accessories monogrammed, especially in the early 1900s and again in the 1920s, a time of great prosperity. After World War II, monogramming reemerged as an important symbol of the 1950s and 1960s, representing a woman’s performance as both housewife and mother.
Today, 21st-century technology has made monogramming affordable and accessible to almost everyone. You no longer need to be an artisan to monogram. While aspirational tendencies still influence people’s desire, monogramming today is a personal creative expression, often having very little to do with social position or wealth. Popularity of monogrammed items has risen in the mass-produced commercial society, where personalization has become trendy and nostalgic.
Monograms have become unique ways to celebrate special occasions. Newlyweds sometimes receive monogrammed items for gifts, grads get monogrammed pens, and residences sometimes have monogrammed front doors. Even corporations sometimes use monograms, like Louis Vuitton fashions and luggage.
Monogram Structure & Uses
Traditionally, monograms are three letters: the first initial, last initial (slightly larger) and middle initial, in that order. But monograms come in all variations: just the first and last initials, just the last initial, just the first initial, or all three initials the same size and in sequential order.
Monogram rubber stamps have become a popular design tool for people to quickly customize stationery and unlimited kinds of crafts. They are also a huge staple for weddings, stamping envelopes, save the dates and invites, as well as decor and favors. Wedding monograms vary depending on the wishes of the couple, but typically feature some combination of both of their initials and last name.
Once you’ve discovered how versatile a monogram rubber stamp can be, you may decide that it’s time to explore other monogramming options. Embossing, the process of creating a raised design on paper, can be used to create a striking monogram.
Bottom line, monograms are still popular as personalization has become a huge trend in recent years. A monogram rubber stamp just might be the easiest way to add a personal touch to your items, whether around the house or for a special occasion, be it a wedding or new baby announcement. Check out our line of designer monogram stamps or create your own custom monogram stamp at RubberStamps.com.