Saturday, February 7, 2009


Mono means one and Gram means gram

My recent screening of North By Northwest was in part a search for elements of refinement and gentlemanly behavior to examine and adopt. Cary Grant’s Roger Thornhill is a memorable example of a gentleman who has it all figured out. Since he wears the same clothes throughout the movie and is frantically avoiding peril, there wasn’t all that much to glean. But I was impressed by the fact that he had a personal mark or monogram that played a clever role in the story. His match book featured his sharp looking R.O.T. on the cover and I presume all his pocket squares, shirts and golf clubs shared the same mark.

I’d like to have something like that going. First I’ll need to create a mark. Being a graphic designer, I’ve visited the notion several times. Usually whenever I’m updating my resume or too bored to do anything else. I figured this would be as good excuse as any to finally see it through.

For a little history, the tradition of monograms comes from French and English aristocracy. Their housekeepers would sometimes share work and having a mark on each piece of laundry made it easy to separate. Even today, when using professional dry cleaning and laundry services it can come in very handy. Before I start having all my shirts and personal items embroidered, I’ll need to settle on a solid mark.

Images from Monograms Inc.
I stumbled upon the website for a monogram designer in NYC named Caroline Brackenridge. She operates Monogram Inc. and she does a heck of a job. Her $575 initial price seems very reasonable for what she provides. Naturally, I’ll be creating my own. I’ll probably spend a lot of time and energy on this. I’ll post the final result somewhere down the line.


  1. Never heard of her. Those monograms look great. A great blog you have.

  2. Thornhill.. "I've got a job, a secretary, a mother, two ex-wives and several bartenders that depend upon me, and I don't intend to disappoint them all by getting myself "slightly" killed." quotable to the extreme.