Do you Monogram First or Last Name? Easy Guide to Monogramming

Image of a monogram, so Do you Monogram First or Last Name?As early as 350 B.C., monogramming was an inn thing. It originated from Ancient Greece and helped people use their name initials as identifying marks. Also, various individuals used monogram logos to create memorable acronyms for their organizations. So, how is this relevant in the 21st century? Monogramming is still in fashion, and this article answers a common question: do you monogram first or last name?

You are free to use a first or last name during monogramming. Interestingly, you may choose your preferred letters based on whether you want a three-letter or two-letter monogram. Therefore, you can also integrate your middle name if it pleases you. Feel free to use one initial if that works for your project, as there are no limiting rules on the letter number.

A monogram is an identification style or logo that allows you to interweave your initials and create a perfect acronym. People mostly use it for decorative purposes, and you can consider it a fabulous wedding or birthday gift the next time you attend one.

You can also use the style for embroidering your linens and purses.

However, you require some monogram etiquette to deliver an excellent logo. This article will quench your curiosity and help you surprise someone!

Rules Governing Monograms

How should I order a monogram?’ is a question many people ask, especially if they get more than one name to monogram. Others do not know what to do when dealing with a couple sharing a last name. Therefore, you need to understand some governing rules to deliver a perfect one.

Below are some considerations that will give you an ‘A’ game in monogramming.

How Many Letters Does the Monogram Have?

The first thing to know is the order to follow when writing the initials. The monogram style that you intend to use will require you to follow corresponding regulations.

  • Monogram rules for one letter

Here, you should determine if you want to use the first letter of a person’s last or first name. You can also consider using their preferred nickname. However, it is prudent to use an individual’s surname with more traditional styles despite their marital status.

  • Monogram rules for three letters

Using three letters may give you some trouble, especially if you are considering married couples. The complexity is because the rules mandate you to use the first letters of the first, last, and middle names in that order for an individual.

However, for married couples who share a last name, you should have their last name remain in the middle and put their first names’ initials on the right and left sides.

Who is Receiving the Monogram?

Another important aspect is the recipient of the monogram. You may want to write for a couple, an individual, or even a married woman. Therefore, you need to know how to address each scenario.

  • A Married Woman

Some women prefer to have their maiden name in the monogram, while others love it when you only write their first name and husband’s last name. Therefore, it would be best if you asked her what she prefers.

For instance, if we are working with Mary Andrews Perry, where Andrews is the lady’s maiden name and Perry is her husband’s name: the monogram order would be her first name, husband’s name, and preferred maiden name. So, therefore, Mary Andrews Perry will be NSJ.

  • An Individual

Individual monograms are pretty easy as you only work with the person’s preferred names. However, it would be best if you stuck to the rules to get an ideal logo. The monogram requirement would be the person’s first name, surname, or last name, and the middle one in that order.

For example, if you have Joseph Robinette Biden’s name, Biden is the surname: the monogram would be JBR.

  • A Married Couple

Married couples prefer to have monograms that represent the interests of both of them. Therefore, you need to consult them on their preferred names. You can also consider examining their previously monogrammed items to get their preferred style and initials.

Monogramming Styles

Finally, it would help if you determined which style works for the initials. And again, it is easy to decide once you have the preferred initials and the correct order.

NB: Most people prefer to have the centered last initial larger than the others or adopting the same size for all the letters.

  • Monogram Styles for Newlyweds

You will find two types of newlyweds: those who share a last name and those who prefer not to change their last names.

For those sharing the last name, please follow the traditional monogram rules for three letters. The order is the first name initial of one partner, then their shared last name initial, and finally the first name initial of the other partner.

On the other hand, consider using a two-letter monogram for partners who do not share a last name. Use the first letter of the couple’s last names using a similar font size.

  • Monogram Styles for Children

When working on children’s monograms, please bear in mind that they follow the same order as adults. Their last name should be in the middle of the first and middle initials; consider using a two-letter monogram, and it should be bigger. Also, if you are using the same font size, the order is first, middle, and last.

  • Monogram styles for men and women

As indicated in our discussion, if you are working with one individual, use the first three letters of their names: that is, their first, middle, and last name. You can choose to use the conventional style where the last name initial is larger than the others and at the center. Then place the first and middle names on your left and right side.

However, if a woman wants to keep her last name and maiden name, the maiden name initials will substitute the middle name. Also, if the initials are all in similar font size, they should follow the first initial, middle, and last order.

Monogram Wedding and Birthday Gifts

If you are getting a monogrammed item as a gift, you need to get a perfect position. Please go through the following ideas before you get started!

  • Linen and Towels

A monogram on linen is such a sweet way to add a subtle touch to a couple’s union. But, of course, you can also add in some hand towels and bedsheets and personalize your support. This impressive act is one to remember for a long time!

  • Robes

If you can’t remember the last time you bought yourself a robe, could it be that it is an excellent gift to give someone? Well, add a monogram, and it becomes a personalized, memorable and luxurious item!

  • Glassware

Monogrammed wine glasses accompanied by a loved one’s favorite wine are a perfect gesture. It would be such an excellent ‘welcome home’ for a newlywed couple.

  • Jewelry

Imagine yourself walking around with a monogrammed necklace hanging on your neck. Wow! What a day! Well, you can make the dream accurate for a loved one by gifting them a monogrammed piece of timeless jewelry.

  • Purses

Simplicity is the mark of all true elegance! A simple purse can become a sophisticated item by getting a small monogram. Fortunately, the monogram will not distract a person from the purse’s design as it is placed on the top.

Monogram Logo

A monogram logo is a decorative pattern that comprises one to three name initials or letters to create an emblem or symbol. They represent the correct initials of a brand, business, or individual. You may also find logos that combine with imagery to reveal the concept of the company brand.

Some refer to a monogram logo as a letter mark as it uses business initials to portray a message. However, the message varies depending on the monogram font and how you present it.

Also, we have various companies that have adopted the monogram idea, such as H.P. Their logo comes from the company’s initials Hewlett-Packard.

Below are some monogram logo design tips for reviewing before you settle on the design.

  • Identify a Unique Typeface.

Since monogram logos use letters, you must get a typeface that reflects your company’s or brand’s personality. You should also find something that resonates with your target audience.

Ensure that you explore various ideas and typefaces until you get the one that pleases you.

The following questions will help you make a decision:

  • How many letters do I want on the monogram?
  • Can I shorten my business name?
  • Where will I place the logo?
  • Do I want a fancy, elaborate, or simple but sophisticated look?

Once you answer these questions, you are on your way to getting your perfect monogram logo!

  • Adopt a Character Feature

A character feature works better for two-letter or three-letter monograms. However, you can play around with a single-letter one. First, ensure that you choose a letter that can stand on its own.

  • Choose the Logo’s Color Wisely.

Ever heard the phrase less is more? The creation of logos and especially monograms requires a light touch. Therefore, please consider using less than two colors to keep your monogram letters strong.

Usually, black is a preferred color for most logos because it is minimal and versatile. In addition, many in the fashion industry pair it with while to increase inverse variation possibilities. In contrast, Jewelry brands may consider gold and silver logos as the colors give a feel of the product.

Red and blue are other often used colors that companies love for their monogram logo designs. You can use the colors separately or get a combination. Red evokes excitement and powerful feelings, whereas blue presents a sense of reliability and trust. Thus perfect colors for event planners and learning institutions.

  • Experiment With Logo’s Layout and Shape

Although monogram logos consist of letters, their shape affects the ultimate design. The letter’s layout will say a lot, and you need to pay attention. The popular design among companies is overlapping letters on a horizontal layout. However, there are so many layouts out there. Let’s check them out!

     1. Flipped or mirrored

This layout works perfectly for companies in the creative space, such as interior decorators and design institutions and agencies. It is appealing to the eye and allows people to form a double-take. But, first, always limit yourself to two letters.

     2. Informal layouts

These patterns give you room to play and customize your brand’s personality. They may be a handwritten interface and require a personal take on the style. Also, informal layouts are excellent for casual clothing brands or blogs.

     3. Interlocked Layout

It is a versatile design and thus very popular among companies. The layout also accommodates various industries and uses at least two letters. 

     4. Stacked

If you are tired of traditional and conventional approaches, this is your pick. The stacked pattern is like a stacked monogram and uses two to four letters. What a way to grab attention! However, please consider a sans-serif or clean-serif typeface to avoid a cluttered look.

     5. Letter seal

This layout is ideal for brands and companies with a history. They tell a story and work for traditional brands.

Why Do I Need a Monogram Logo?

  • The Design Indicates Item Ownership.

A monogram logo is an excellent way to mark your items. It makes them easy to identify in case of theft or loss. In ancient times, women put their initials on napkins, cooking utensils, and other dining items.

In present times, people who hire out items find monograms useful for easy identification.

  • It Is a Signature Mode for Artwork.

Artists use monograms to mark intellectual properties. They use the patterns as a signature to show their work. Furthermore, we know the rightful owners of famous sculptures and paintings through monograms.

  • The Logo Makes Your Brand Easy to Remember.

Companies that have long or difficult to pronounce names benefit most from monogram logos. The designs are easy to remember and give the brand a unique and beautiful identity. On top of that, monograms shorten your company name and provide a simple acronym.

  • It Adds Sentimental Value to Businesses With Family Roots.

You need to consider a monogram logo if your organization or business has family ties. This element comes about because they have sentimental value and work excellently for a family business. In addition, monograms maximize the organization’s unique origin and nature, which lasts for ages.

  • A Monogram Makes the Brand Layout Lucid.

A monogram keeps you from using abstract or pictorial symbols to represent the company brand. Instead, it stands on its own and gives customers all the information they need to identify with the business.

  • It Works for Smaller Spaces.

The logo is suitable for smaller spaces. Therefore, you can use it on website favicons, profile images, and social media.

  • The Design Makes Your Brand Noticeable.

If you want a noticeable brand identity, a monogram logo is a perfect choice. Its simplicity and unique design allow customers to notice the logo across online and real-world spaces. Additionally, if your business covers global markets, customers can easily spot your store at first sight.

Frequently Asked Questions About Monogram

  • When do I use a three-letter monogram or a single-letter one?

It is all up to you and the gift recipient. Use the initials that will personalize the gift as much as possible. However, you can consider using the first letter of the couple’s last name on items such as barware, towels, and napkins for appreciating a married couple.

Additionally, if you are gifting an individual, it would be best to consider a three-letter monogram. It will help personalize the gift further and provide sentimental value.

  • How should I present my monogram to a personalization store?

It would be best if you adhere to monogram logo rules. First, ensure that the letters are in the correct order. For example, if you are using three names, it should be the first initial, the last initial, and finally the middle initial.

A couple’s monogram needs more attention as you need to verify if they have a shared last name. Also, ensure that you ask them what initials they prefer on a monogram. That way, you will provide a perfect gift!

  • Can I Monogram 4 Words?

You can monogram four words. However, please be creative to ensure that the monogram is not too wordy.

  • How do I register monogrammed items?

Consider giving guidelines to monogram gift-givers. Ask them to include a card with the monogram information for the newlyweds. These tips will ensure that you personalize the gifts to your preferences. Many stores will not accept returns for such items. Therefore, you need to get it right!

  • How do I choose a monogram style for my project?

People tend to struggle to choose the most suitable monogram styles to use. However, the beauty of monogram logos is that you can personalize them and make them as unique as you wish. Your individual preferences and style are up to you! Also, if you expect to get monogrammed items in your next event, be sure to give your guests your preferred initials order.

When choosing the monogram style, consider the space offered by the item. This practice helps you choose a suitable font that will fit comfortably on the gift.

  • How do I monogram a last name with two words?

If the last name has two words, you need to pick initials from both names. The monogram should represent the two names.

  • Are there some don’ts in monogramming?

Yes, there are a few scenarios to avoid if you want a perfect monogram. Check them out!

  • Don’t wear too many monograms at a go. You will be committing a major fashion crime if you have a monogrammed purse, hat, necklace, shoes, cellphone case, earrings, and jacket. Therefore, consider choosing what monogrammed items you want to have on one occasion.
  • Don’t settle for a cheap monogram if you doubt its quality. A bad monogram can easily ruin your item. Therefore, hire an embroidery expert to do the work for you. Invest in looking fabulous, and you won’t regret it one bit. Furthermore, the newlyweds will feel so much appreciated by a perfectly monogrammed gift.
  • Don’t have a 25-inch monogram on your chest or a two-foot logo on your car. You may be promoting a brand, but it may not look as lovely and attractive as you imagine. Please match the logo size with the piece of cloth or item. A monogram should provide a timeless and classy feel. Therefore, choose a suitable size and save yourself the embarrassment of a crammed-up logo.
  • Don’t choose the wrong font, as different fonts work best on various letter combinations. Please be careful and selective to ensure that the font is balanced and on the right side. You can consider getting help from a professional and get a font that looks lovely with your initials.
  • Don’t put the letters in the wrong order, as monogram etiquette is not forgiving of such a mistake. Each monogram style and font will prescribe the initial’s order. Therefore, ensure that you adhere to the regulations and consider getting some help if you are stuck.


Monogram etiquette can seem challenging to adhere to, especially if you are just beginning. However, it’s all about the initials order and monogram style. Once you have these two elements in place, you can get started and add a personal touch to your gifts. But still, you may have the question,

Do You Monogram First or Last Name?

It is all up to you! You can monogram the first or last name. As long as you adhere to monogramming rules, any initials of your choice will suffice. Additionally, if you prefer your middle name or a nickname, feel free to use it on your monogram.

They say, measure twice but cut once! Always counter-check the initial’s order one last time before you monogram. It will help you to avoid mistakes that may cost you some money. Meanwhile, as you prepare to gift a loved one, consider going the monogram way!

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