A Desk Book on the Etiquette of Social Stationery/Chapter 2

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MONOGRAMS


MONOGRAMS play a most important part in the ethics of stationery.

Motifs, emblems and symbols once used so universally for distinction of class and individual, have in the evolution of time and race dwindled into general disuse. These are not the days of emblazoned walls and iron-wrought hangings. The armored knight who bore his color and his crest aloft for recognition is a shadowed memory put away with the fashion of king since the year '76.

Still, we Americans enjoy a touch of distinction Democratic Crest which, lost to us through democracy, becomes the cult of individualism, the seal of ownership, the mark of belonging. This fondness takes form in name marking in the cipher motif and the graceful monogram.

A striking monogram, combining the first letters of the full name or the first and last
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name is an enviable possession. A woman finds many schemes for its use in the marking of her underwear, table linen, etc., but its touch upon her stationery holds the greatest charm and gains her the credentials of the gently bred.

Original Monograms One cannot urge too strongly the necessity for originality and unusualness in monogram conceits. The stereotyped designs of twisted letters, which are cheaply procurable at the stationery counters, do not lend that mark of personality which is distinctive.

Often one hits upon a clever trick of letter twining with a little pencil practice, and finds the work most interesting as well.

A favorite flower form turned to develop a unique device is at once a personal insignia, and with the monogram stands for what may be called the "democratic crest."

Designing the Monogram The designer well versed in this work combines the letters so that each stands out clearly
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and is easily deciphered at a glance. Curling lines and waves which mean nothing, but only deceive the eyes, are never found in the best examples.

The simpler conception shows the better workmanship, and too strong coloring or high gilding is in doubtful taste.

Present Forms Among the present modes one notices the long monogram in rather common use. This is set at the upper left corner of note and letter paper, and may be embossed in three tones of one color, or in single gold or silver. Again, the drop letter monogram occupies about the same space, and is most attractive in three tones.

A square effect, the letters in color on a block of gold, or the lines of the device turned to form a square, are among the best designs.

Placing the Monogram The place of stamping is optional and depends largely on individual taste, but the full line of paper should show the same marking, a
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smaller die being often cut for the first size sheets or place cards.

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Center or side stamping is a matter of taste, the center being perhaps the most used. If the envelope is marked, the monogram should match the paper exactly in tone and placing.

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A striking example is a note paper of heavy white with narrowest coral border. The small monogram in gold and coral is set at the extreme left of paper heading and envelope fold.

Setting the monogram on the fourth page is, although rather extreme, still used by the best stationers.

A New Idea  A new idea is to set the monogram across the center of the fourth page. The paper is then
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turned and the writing continued the length of the open sheet. The note is not folded in the ordinary way, but from side to side of the closed sheet, and the envelope is of necessity long and narrow.

A copy of one's signature, or better still, the first letters of the name, forms a pretty conceit for a page heading, but should only be used for personal correspondence.

Home Papers The hostess at her country house sends the informal invitation for a week's end on the second size note sheet, which bears a tiny line of directions along the upper left margin and the name of her house or the township at the right, thus:

Telephone—922
Express—Dayton Station
Telegraph—Dayton
R. R. Station—Dayton, Conn.
Post Office—View Point, Conn.

The MANOR
View Point, Connecticut

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This helps many a guest along a strange way and saves the busy hostess the writing of minute directions. Letter paper, showing the house

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address at upper right or center, is very good

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form. It may be used by any member of the household, or a guest, but the hostess chooses her monogramed sheets for her personal letters.

Pictured Papers Pictured papers are a foreign importation and are not in favored use in America; still a tiny view of one's country house or a sketch which bears out the name, as "Red Oaks," is permissible and entirely a matter of taste. The design must be small and set at the center of the sheet. It is carried out either as a watercolor sketch, or stamped in single tone of gold, green, dull red or blue.

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White Stamping The raised water stamping or embossed effect is simply attractive. The best taste for men's stationery is the unadorned plain square folded sheet of white paper; still this unobtrusive white stamping for crest or tiny monogram is quite permissible.

Monogramed Tablets Tablets of good size and quality are sometimes monogramed in the upper left corner, the single sheet folding once and again into an

Place Card Actual Size 3⅜x1⅞ 

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oblong envelope. This idea may be used by a business woman, while the single note sheet, with a small square envelope, is also a novelty for the few lines.

Place Cards Monogramed place cards are a pleasing innovation and almost a necessity to the woman who entertains. A heavy gilt-edged card is used with the monogram in gold at the left. The guest's name is written on the card.

Place Card Actual Size 3⅛x1½ 

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Again, the hostess may use the color scheme
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of her table in the marking of her place cards, or substitute them for tallies by attaching a tiny pencil in the color of the monogram. A plain white card monogramed in Christmas red or green with a written word of greeting, makes a pretty, new accompaniment to a gift, and carries a decided touch of personality. The use of these cards at any season for a thought to a friend cannot fail to be appreciated.

Correspondence Cards The best papers of the season, such as Cranes's Linen Lawn in shades of Daybreak Pink, Willow Green and Orchid, show matching correspondence cards, which exactly fit the envelope and like the paper are bordered with a narrow darker line. These take charmingly to monograming and are a convenience for the note of a few lines. The marking may be in the darker shade or in silver—silver stamping having a decided vogue this season.

Book Marks Book-marks are a novelty and lend themselves most readily to all forms of monogram and personal insignia. Their mission is to protect one's property, and they are pasted on the inner cover of one's books to designate ownership. Here fancy may run riot in the conception of designs which carry the touch of individuality.