Privilege Blog

Monograms In The Year 2009

I’m game for a little good-natured deconstruction of monograms in this day and age if you are. Symbols are symbols, after all, and I am particularly fond of the cultural sort. Let’s guess that monograms are a way to say who we are. We might think that the wearing of any monogram at all indicates that the monogrammed person is most likely somewhat traditional, conservative. But there’s variance. This person, for example, looks pretty serious about her monogram. Classic.

This person is more light-hearted. Preppy.

This person, maybe classic, preppy, with an arty edge.

But wait. This person can hardly be seen as traditional.

Yes. The artist formerly known as Prince. It’s his glyph. A logo? A monogram? A brand?

You see, I think it could be fairly said that we have a situation in America where the traditional monogram is converging with the trend of “branding” ourselves. We’re exhorted to come up with an online brand, to Twitter with a copyrighted name, to brand our personas. Even the concept of personalizing a wedding is known as “branding”…. *slight shudder*. Although I love the way those lighted monograms look, I confess. Very Cinderella.

Which has me thinking. Cinderella’s monogram…hmm…..Mr. Eisner, sir, do you have a moment?

ABC from Embroidery Arts
MTC and PJB from my mad Powerpoint skills
Prince glyph from Minnesota Historical Society (no kidding)

21 Responses

  1. Thanks for the info! I love monograms! In answer to your question…yes, ducks in Arizona. This particular one was at the best Mexican restaraunt I have ever been too! I used to think they were all alike. Not true! this place (, had this duck that would walk around bumming tortilla chips

  2. You are so hilarious showing Prince's monogram! How clever and funny! I love it!

  3. LOL re: Prince!!!! Hilarious…I love the little surprises that you tuck into your posts!

  4. v. funny- interesting to think that Prince came from where I live, it's something that I never quite can wrap my mind around.


  5. I've always thought that Prince's glyph was just his way of saying he's fashionably gender-confused.

    I mean, honestly – look at it!

  6. You're so right, about the relationship between monogramming and all this personal branding. Very interesting.
    And I confess, I've always loved Prince.

  7. Once again Miss LPC, more than well done, especially sharing the glyph for TAFKAP. We are fond of the first style, but that won't surprise, we're pretty traditional.

    Enjoy your Tuesday!

  8. I'm enjoying this monogram series. I've often wondered why I find certain ones – like the top three here – in certain places to be acceptable, while others strike me as showy or just weird (ahem, MN Historical Society).

    No surprise that the usual suspects of tradition and class anxiety/signifiers are behind some of this, but I'd never been able to draw that connection before.

  9. yes! i often think that all this online networking malarkey is about self-marketing… legend creating, if you will…

    but now i'm going off to embroider my old grafitti tag onto my bed linen.

  10. Kate (of Love You Big) sent me personalised notecards for my birthday. They're white with a cornflower blue border and my name positioned at the top in cursive writing. So no monogram, but this counts for something. I love them.

  11. I love the idea of graffiti sewn into bed linens as a monogram. Indigo, that might sell quite well on the coasts of America. I'm not surprised at the people voting for the classic monogram, it says so much while saying so little. And I grew fond of notecards with my name on them when a few years back I was given a box. At first I looked down my nose but once I started to use them I enjoyed them way more than I thought. Pointing out yet again that an open mind rarely serves you poorly.

    And thanks for the kudos for the Prince citation. I love him too.

  12. The top one is my favorite…I am a sucker for a monogram. Sometimes I think I am Laverne Defazio and would love a letter on my chest at all times.

  13. I LOVE LOVE LOVE monograms. My Aunt had one that she wore every day at the bank she was VP at. It had a little loop under her initials that she could clip a pen to. As a small child I was completely facinated by it.
    On Sunday we went to see Julie and Julia and I fell head over heals in love with the brooch "Julia" wore in the beginning of the movie. Absolutely stunning! And I want one NOW!!! ~sigh~

  14. Thanks for the info. I've always been lousy at follow through, so only have ever had monogrammed items that were given to me as gifts. One thing that cracks me up is how many people now have "signature" everythings – from cocktails, scents to colors!

  15. I was searching the Internet yesterday to try to find an image of a monogrammed pin similar to the one I saw in the Julie & Julia movie. Not only do I want one for myself, I planned to blog about! While I was searching, sure enough, you blog popped up in the search! I didn't find what I wanted though. You have certainly become a top advisor on mongrams per! :)

  16. Me too! (about being turned off my personalised notecards) But there are degrees – mine are smart and simple with no other detail except my name, whereas I think it's the ones with a gazillion details that we subconsciously equate with wooden mallard ducks flying on the wall above the TV. But I think I just like them, and I hope it's because I am open minded and relaxed about such things…

  17. A top advisor on monograms. Hahahahahaha. OK, you have so outed me to all my hippie friends. How will I survive? By being, as Academic, Hopeful puts it, openminded and relaxed. Or so I hope.

    BTW, in the 1980's I HAD a pink tshirt with an L on the front. I even have a picture of it. Taken in front of Leavenworth of all places. Given, of course, that Laverne and I share the first initial.

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