Groomsmen's Blog

Origin Story of the Monogram

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There is something about a personalized gift that gives it a special feeling. It's like declaring to the world, "Only one man can enjoy the sweet nectar of fermented barley from this flask - and that man has his initials etched into the side of the bottle."

Donald Trump would call it "high class," but at GroomStand, we call the personalized flask a wonderfully affordable groomsmen gift. Just because monogrammed items aren't typical gifts, doesn't mean they're out of style.

Come along for the ride as we discover the history of monogramming and personalizing in this installment of the groomsmen origin stories.

The Origin of Personalization and Monogramming

Starting around the time man could forge metals, monograms were used as a royal signature on precious goods. The Greeks and Romans were the first to monogram their coins as a way of honoring their rulers. Starting in the Middle Ages, monograms and engravings were used as an artisan's signature, which then changed over time to represent the symbol of a company.

As for an individual level, monogramming and personalization played a major role in identifying personal goods like laundry or livestock. Most (which means poor people in those days) placed a personalized stamp on a corner of cloth, and it was only noblemen and the super wealthy that enjoyed any sorts of embroidery.

Since our only exposure to monogramming was the "L" on Laverne's sweater, here are some of the rules of personalizing to get you up to speed:

    1. The monogram is defined as layering a person's first initial over the top of their second initial to make one symbol. Nowadays, most people include a series of uncombined initials (known as a cipher) in the monogram category.
LS
    1. For an individual's monogram, it is standard to include a letter from the first and last name. For example: "Luke Skywalker" is "LS". Another example is to use a letter from the first, middle and last name. "George W. Bush" is "GWB" all the capitalized, and all the same size.
CHS
    1. For a married woman, it is traditional for her to include her maiden name in the monogram. This started because a woman would have a piece of clothing with her first and last initial, and then after marriage, her married surname initial was then included onto the monogram. For example: "Courtney Harrington" before marriage is "CH" and her married name is "Smith". Her new monogram is "CHS" all capitalized, all the same size.
CSH
    1. Since it's typical that no one has any monogrammed pajamas these days, it's now acceptable for the monogram to show a letter from the first name, the married name, and then the maiden name. For example: "Courtney Smith" with the maiden name "Harrington" will have the monogram "CSH" with the font of the married name larger than the other two.
HSM
  1. For a married couple, the same rules apply. The monogram for Homer and Marge Simpson are "HSM" with the "S" larger than the two other letters. It's traditional that the men's name goes first, but you can do it in whatever order you'd like.

Put that special touch on your groomsmen gifts with a free personalization from GroomStand.com.

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