Saturday, February 28, 2009


A few posts ago I mentioned that I was interested in developing my own monogram, like Roger Thornhill in North By Northwest. I envisioned that I’d have it embroidered on a set of handkerchiefs and pretty much affix it to any custom made articles and appropriate future purchases.

When I started thinking about it I had another idea. My son’s first birthday is coming up. I previously wanted to start a tradition of giving him Christmas gifts that were quality man things he could use for the rest of his life. A valet tray, watch, belt, briefcase, etc. But I though better of it. Christmas is about toys, so I bought him blocks and a wooden truck. (along similar lines, but more baby appropriate).

My new idea was to also create a monogram for him as a first birthday gift and have it embroidered on a set of handkerchiefs. A simple enough place to start a tradition of manly accoutrement birthday gifts. I’ll need to come up with 18 or 21 things to have marked, but I have time to work on that. For right now, I’m thinking of things like a belt buckle, a watch band, a pocket knife, a money clip / wallet, a shoe horn, or a key chain. And down the road a golf bag, bar kit, lighter or brief case, culminating with a suitcase for him to pack it all up and move out. (just kidding). The more I think about it, the more nifty ideas I have: Brass buttons for a blazer, a club tie, a tool box, or a shoe shine kit. I’m also open to suggestions if you care to contribute.

Anyway, here’s where I’m at.

I chose Akzidenz-Grotesk (Light Condensed) as the font and adjusted it somewhat. It’s regarded as the first widely used sans-serif font. Dating back to 1896. The font Helvetica was created as an improved version of Akzidenz-Grotesk. So I feel it says something about being on the edge or modern and classic. As well as taking something standard back to its roots, which is kind of what this whole project is about. With the styling I tried to reflect a little Celtic flavor to demonstrate our heritage. (this should explain the similarity to the University of Notre Dame’s logo). The symbols reflect the Saints, John, Patrick and Peter. But I’m not crazy about their overall effect so I’ll probably end up losing them.

Originally I did something very similar to Thornhill’s mark. But I discovered that three unconnected letters is actually referred to as a cypher. A monogram is technically three letters that are interconnected and form one symbol.

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