Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Monograms Etiquette

Monograms continue to be popular. They should appear either centered at the top of the page, centered on the front of the folded note, or in the upper-left corner. A single-initialed piece of stationery leaves too many questions in the readers’ minds. Stationery stores sell preprinted notes with single initials, but these seem to me to be useless and silly.
If you choose to monogram your stationery, it is best to use three initials, unless they happen to spell something graceless. Alice Stanton Smith, for example, would be better off using just two initials.
The most common styles for monograms are either three initials set in consecutive order or the initial of the last name in a larger size in the middle of the other two. A single woman or a married woman who retains her maiden name uses the initials of her first, middle, and last names. A married woman who uses her husband’s name uses the initials of her first name, her maiden name, and her husband’s last name.
Always write out the names of your city and state in full with no abbreviations. Numerals for street numbers are fine. Spelling out numbers greater than 10 is generally unwieldy and pretentious.
Printed or engraved envelopes generally carry the address in the upper-left corner, and it is perfectly fine to use your printing or engraving plate with your name from your stationery for this, rather than have a new one made. If you print or engrave the envelopes, omit the name from the return address. You rarely have to pay more to leave off a line of type from a plate, as opposed to making a new plate, which is expensive.

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