As I never had a monogram of my own but always wanted one, and my other personal site www.nadjakireta.com needed a logo anyways, this was the best time to finally tackle this project. If only it would have been that easy.
After hours of research online and even buying an old book from Abe Books my head was filled with all this information, which is a good thing. Research to me is an enjoyable journey, but then comes the point when you want to apply the new knowledge and suddenly realize that it is harder than you thought. After page after page of drawing ideas, different combinations and looks, I came to one daunting conclusion:
N + K make for a difficult monogram
Having two very sharp and angular letters like that N + K to work with is really awful. What I would give for a nice round D or a J with a long swoosh, or even an M or R, something with more strokes and curves to play with. N = up-down-up. K = up-up-down. Soooo boring.
Thinking that I was simply not having good ideas, I tried other initials, but those of my Mom were equally challenging but not so terrible awkward. I added a swoosh here, a twirl there, rounded an angle or two. But none of the ideas quite “popped” and neither did my Mom think those were really her. So there was my second revelation:
Simply drawing nice letters isn’t enough
I really admire the beautifully drawn, ornamental monograms, but they are just not me, neither were they my Mom’s style either. I wanted a clear monogram for myself, that also serves as a logo, not just some pretty decorative ornament. It’s personal after all.
So what to do, what to so. I eventually gave up on drawing even more concepts and just fired up Illustrator to look at 1000+ fonts next, hoping for the spark of inspiration. I settled on Century Gothic as a starting point as the N and K looked evenly balanced and nicely spaced.
Then I just played with it for a while. Deconstructed parts of the letters, moved them around. This eventually helped more than drawing the same ideas over an over on paper. It gave me a new direction. I helped me “see the lines”. Although I always knew that a monogram should have overlapping letters, it never occurred to me that I could slot one letter into the other and still be able to discern the two.
Bold or Thin?
I like the compactness of the monogram/cypher/logo. The design looks unique and feels right. I like it. I am happy with it.
The final design
The design applied
The new logo looks good now on my other website, but what about the personal calling cards I wanted? After looking at the terribly expensive letter press options, I decided to get cards from MOO again. I didn’t want flimsy bendable cards, nor those with a finish that I couldn’t write notes on. The thick 600gsm Luxe cards fit these requirements perfectly.
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