AWP Monogram Process

September 2, 2020

I have been cleaning my house a lot lately, getting things organized.

I came across one of my many sketchbooks. I found the sketch book I was using when I created the monogram for my brother’s wedding. It’s strange as I go through the pages for the project because the are pretty detailed and within six mostly inked pages, I can tell exactly what my process and direction was. Yet, if it was someone else’s sketchbook, I’d think they just like drawing letters.

My plan was to make a logo for the wedding. My brother asked me for a mark similar to what I was using for my logo at the time – a calligraphic ligature of my initials, MLW (Fig. 1). Even though he asked for a logo, I kept my thinking open to just to find a form that best complimented the letters and legibility.

Fig 1.

To first understand how the letters were to fit together, I had to figure out what formed the individual letters. So I drew the letters A, P and W at least 30 times each (Fig. 2). I pooled from the catalog of fonts that I have to draw the versions of the letters that are most different from each other and from basic version of letter, to find some unique.

Fig. 2

Once I felt I explored the letter forms I enough, I began sketching what could be a mark. A few non-traditional looks came out of the process that blurred legibility and lacked the necessary rhythm. Mostly a traditional monogram style emerged with the A and P revolving around the W. Seeing these now, some of these could have been explored more. (Fig. 3)

Fig 3

At this point, I shared my sketches with my brother and explained my plan to refine the selections, clean and digitize them. He and his wife selected the ones with check marks, which I redrew simpler and cleaner. From that final contact sheet of monograms they made their final selection, which became digitized and printed on invitations and reply cards.

Pop Quiz: Can you notice the difference between the last drawing of the mark and the digital version? …The crossbar of the A continues through it. My brother contributed that wonderful addition. The creative process is collaborative.