Join Sean Adams for an in-depth discussion in this video Designing a monogram, part of Branding for Designers.
- I've played out many versions of a Wordmark and narrowed the options down to three. I feel pretty good about my solutions, but the job has only begun. Even if I don't think I need a monogram logo, I will explore the options. You never know, you might stumble onto something wonderful. Just as we did with the Wordmark study, I begin in a program such as Adobe Illustrator. I set up several landscape format 11 x 17 pages. Next, I type in the initial or initials.
I duplicate this and end up with four rows across and four rows down. I should now have the 16 sets of the initials on each page. Again, as with the Wordmark, I work my way down the fonts, trying each combination in a different typeface. Don't stop and edit. Keep going and fill up a couple of pages with at least 32 variations. Duplicate all of these and change the case to all lowercase.
You now have 64 typographic variations of the initials. Choose your favorite eight options. Take these eight options and play with the arrangement. Do the letter forms make interesting negative forms when they're connected? Is it easier to read the uppercase or lowercase versions? Are there similar shapes to the letters that can be made consistent, such as circles or lines? Try all kinds of combinations. But don't torture the letters.
The worst monogram logos are the ones that look painful. If the letters don't naturally lend themselves to a modification, don't force it. Monograms are hard. They require an advanced skill in drawing letter forms. And they take time. You'll need to stop and look at the forms, trying to discover that unique element. And of course, the solution must communicate the brand's attributes. It's not easy. That's why designers deserve respect and compensation for these extremely rare talents.
- The history of branding (pre- and post-1950)
- The elements of branding
- Conducting research
- Solving problems and presenting solutions
- Creating logos and identity systems
- Building a visual system with color, typography, and more
- Communicating branding with manuals and vision books