What’s in a name? The proper monogram format.


I’ve always done my monograms the same way, mostly because I like how it looks.  I do the initials in the order they appear:  First Middle Last.  It works well since there are people out there who don’t have a middle name, or who have more than one, so the format is universal.  But recently customers have been asking about the “correct” way to do a monogram, so here’s a brief tutorial on the traditionally correct way.

Monogramming for Men:  Woohoo!  So I’ve been correct.  The way to do a monogram for a man is First Middle Last, so if your name is James Michael Smith, the monogram would be JMS.  All the letters would be the same height, like on my Monogram Bifold Wallet (shown above).  So the monogram would look like this:



Monogramming for Women:  This one is different.  This is the way that a lot of people think that a monogram in general is supposed to look, with a larger last initial in the middle, flanked by the first and middle initials. So for Jessica Marie Smith, it would look like this:

J   S M

And, of course, in this modern world a woman can choose the more traditionally male monogram and opt for hers to be First Middle Last all in the same size lettering.


For married couples: The monogram should look like the women’s version, with the couple’s last initial in the middle and their first initials to either side.  The current form is that the woman’s initial comes first, so for Amy and Thomas Miller, you’d have:


Apparently, though, this is a more modern arrangement.  Traditionally the man’s initial is listed to the left to show ownership over the last name and the woman.  I’m kind of glad we’re not going by that rule anymore.


Those are the simple, current answers to the monogram question.  They get more complex with the various things people do their last names – how to monogram a hyphenated last name or a gift for a couple who isn’t taking the same name are more complicated questions.  Most of the monograms that I do are for individuals, and mostly men, so naturally that was the one that I was most interested in.  I guess I’ll just keep on doing it as I have been – all in the same size lettering, First Middle Last, unless requested otherwise!

Out to enjoy the sunshine…



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