A personal monogram is made up of three initials (first, middle, and last names). If a person does not have a middle name, they will frequently use a dual initial monogram or their last name initial simply. Many people also include the year that they were born as part of their monogram.
The origin of this symbol is unknown but it has been used by many cultures throughout history. It was most commonly used by monks as an identification tool since letters were carved onto their clothing to show who worked on what project within the monastery. Today, monograms are used to identify a business, organization, or individual.
There are several different types of monograms including full, half, single, and double. Full monograms contain all three letters of the first name, last name, and middle name if applicable. Half monograms only use two characters because the third character is implied. A single character represents a name that is only written in one letter. A double character indicates a name that is printed in two parts with a period separating them. For example, "J Smith" would be represented by JS.
Many companies will create a custom monogram for their customers to mark special occasions such as weddings and baptisms.
Three letters If you utilize three initials, the monogram should include all three names (i.e., first, middle, and last names). If the letters in the monogram are all the same height, the order is first name initial, middle name initial, last name initial. If one or more of the letters in the monogram are not as tall as the others, make sure to put the taller letter(s) at the top of the monogram.
Four letters A four-letter monogram contains four letters which can be either all caps or mixed case. The four-letter monogram is used primarily for company names when space is limited. If you have five or more letters in your monogram, it is best to use an acronym.
Acronym A short form of a word or phrase made up of the first letters of each word in the full form. For example, IBM is an acronym for International Business Machines. Acronyms are commonly used in abbreviations such as NASA for National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Abbreviation A short form of a word or phrase derived by omitting certain letters or parts of the original version. For example, IBM is an abbreviation of International Business Machines. Abbreviations are commonly used in acronyms such as NASA for National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Initials are two or three letters of a person's name that are arranged in chronological order: first name, middle name, and final name. A monogram is made up of the same two or three letters, but the middle and last names are reversed. So, the monogram represents itself: middlename, lastname - nametag.
In addition, initials include any letter or number that appears after a person's name until another name is reached; for example, JJC after John, James, Joseph. Monograms can also include such additions, but they must be taken into consideration when designing them.
People often use their initials as a way to identify themselves quickly during emergency situations. For example, if an ambulance were to arrive at your house with its sirens on alerting people that something was wrong and you needed help, they could easily tell which room belonged to you by looking at your name tag. Or if there were several people in the hospital with similar names, they could use your initial marks to find out which doctor treated you.
People also use their initials to mark special occasions, such as weddings and graduations. For example, each guest at a wedding reception is given a name tag that includes their initials so they can be identified if there is a fire or other emergency.
Monograms are customary. The first initial of a person's name is followed by the last and middle initials. The initial of the last name (in the middle) is bigger than those on the sides. Sometimes only the first letter of the initial is used.
In English-speaking countries, it is common practice to use an initial for names that would otherwise be spelled out in full: John Doe, Jane Doe, Michael John Smith, Susan Elizabeth Brown. This is called an "initialism".
In French-speaking countries, it is usual to use an entire word as an initial: Jean Pierre Adams, Marie Antoinette Bourgault. This is called an "acronym".
In Italian names, it is common to find two words instead of one used as an initial: Giuseppe Alessandro Maria di Santo Stefano de Ponto. This is called an "eponym".
In Japanese names, the kanji characters are used instead: Kenji Onda. This is called a "kana name".
In Indian names, the surname is followed by an individual character used as an initial: Saroj Kumar Jain. This is called a "pavitti".