[AOK] Your initials do not need to be OMG or WTF to LOL over these clever letterpress-printed monogram-style cards from Lunalux. If you’d like to make your own initials into a mark, we know some creative people who’ll make it as easy as ABC — and the initials of one of them are XYZ. Truly.
Jenni Undis, proprietress of Lunalux, has a fondness for “things that look like other things.” She elaborates, “For a long time, I’d been thinking about using monograms on greeting cards. There are many three-letter abbreviations that people use all the time, and I love the idea of rendering them in the rigid monogram format. I think the juxtaposition of the profanity against the formal monogram is hysterical. I made these cards in December during one of our Stationery Saturday events, when we were personalizing cards for customers using our collection of lead monograms. Customers in my brick-and-mortar store love them. When someone looks at the cards, I can see the gears turning in their mind. They stare at them, and they always laugh out loud when they finally get the joke.”
The Lunalux cards are 4.25 x 5.5 in. (A2 size), letterpress printed on Strathmore Pastelle Natural White 80c. Note the delightful deckle across the bottom. Available singly or in a dandy six-pack (BIG bargain).
Each initial is a separate piece of lead type placed individually into the lead border.
A single initial can be captivating, like an illuminated letter — or a piece of Art Deco jewelry.
Nancy Sharon Collins, a.k.a. The Engraving Lady, also loves monograms. In the Petite Suite Store, her Felt & Wire Shop, she offers a boxed set of 50 engraved note cards bearing your initials — and you specify the order in which you’d like them to appear. Mrs. Collins (her engraver moniker) advises, “Normally, the last name goes in the center of a three-letter monogram.” The A2-size cards are engraved on Strathmore Writing Ultimate White Wove 88cb and come with matching envelopes.
Engraver Nancy Sharon Collins enjoys having monogrammed note cards in five custom-mixed colors (and deep black). Because engraving inks are more opaque than offset inks, colors seem extra-rich.
Left: The copper engraving plate for the engraved note cards shown above is photo-etched. You can have the plate shipped with your order — it makes a great paperweight. Right: The 1/2-in. steel die is hand-engraved.
The Petite Suite Store has a vintage monogram style for every typographic taste. Our suggestion: Choose a typeface in which your specific initials look great.
I recently mailed Mrs. Collins a little treat for her ever-growing collection of engraved stationery: a sheet of note paper dating back to the 1920s or ’30s, engraved with what I think was a blend of silver and gold particles, so the ink looks like platinum.
HMV was the mother of my 80-year-young friend Anne T. A couple of months ago, Anne gave me a full box of her mother’s monogrammed stationery, with undisturbed ribbons still banding the tissue-lined envelopes (which do not bear a return address).
I cannot imagine that any letter in the alphabet was more magnificent than Henriette’s M. As for why Henriette didn’t use her glorious stationery, her daughter and I can only speculate that she felt the stationery was too special for what she had to say. Of course I would have tried to change her mind!
The watermark doesn’t show up in the photograph, but it includes a monogram, a pair of Ps, flanked by large outlined letters of Dualis and Paris, with a smaller France centered below. The sheet is hand-deckled on all four sides.
Xandra Zamora designs each monogram to best suit the initials involved. She also experiments with the same initials in different configurations.
Calligrapher/lettering artist/graphic designer Xandra Zamora named her Felt & Wire Shop The Decorated Letter. She will customize a snowflake monogram from one or two of your initials rendered in her flowing hand. You could also think of it as a molecule or a mandala, and it would make a wonderful motif for a wedding invitation.
I have had stationery with my name on it since I was in junior high school … which is to say, almost my entire thank-you note writing life. But it wasn’t until 2009 that I “acquired” a monogram for the first time, thanks to my friend Michael Osborne. And, with additional thanks to my needlepointing cousin Deborah, my monogram migrated from paper to canvas. My AOK mark has become a source of continual graphic delight for me — except when my i’Mtoosmartphone autocratically changes my AOK to AOL!