Monogramming easier than ever
Everyone, these days, is a brand. If you blog, tweet, Instagram, friend, and/or pin, you can show the world who you are, what you like and what you stand for.
One thing that brands love more than anything is a logo. This might explain why monogramming is having its moment. Just like Gucci with its G's, Chanel with its C's, and Louis Vuitton with its LVs, each of us can have our initials embroidered, etched, silkscreened or printed on just about anything from yoga mats to rolling pins.
Yes, what used to be thought of as elitist — think silver cups and linen handkerchiefs — is no longer. Monogramming has gone mainstream.
The new catalog and e-commerce site Mark and Graham is setting out to modernize monogramming, in its typeface selections and in its process. What makes the shopping experience so pleasurable is that you can preview your design on your computer screen. No more waiting until you get the final product to know whether it's going to look good. Plus personalization is built into the price of the product. Goodbye to $7 (and up) fees to monogram. And you get the items delivered in six to eight business days, with a rush option of two to three days.
How do they do it? Mark and Graham is an offshoot of Williams-Sonoma, so it's able to use the same giant personalization facility in Tennessee as its sister companies, Pottery Barn, West Elm and Williams-Sonoma.
Similar advancements in printing have made personalized stationery a huge online industry. No longer do you have to pore through unwieldy binders deciding which ink color and paper stock you want. Companies such as Minted, Tiny Prints, Iomoi, the Stationery Studio and the new Paper by Paperless Post offer hundreds of design, paper and envelope options that you can preview, approve and have shipped to you in a matter of days.
A spinoff of the personalized stationery craze is personalized artwork. Minted.com and RedEnvelope.com sell customizable “art prints” that include specific designs to commemorate weddings, anniversaries, births and other milestones.
Typed monograms are not the only kind of personalization out there. Take a look at Bespoke Custom Gifts, where you can use photos, silhouettes, your favorite sports or hobbies, even the state where you live, to customize items.
This is why personalizing is hot right now: It's personal. In this global economy, it is harder and harder to find unique items. Anyone can get anything at any time, but by adding a monogram or personalized message to something, you are making the item special, and you are also signaling that you put extra time and thought into the purchase.
Elizabeth Mayhew is a contributing writer to The Washington Post.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.