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Monogram Etiquette

Monograms and embroidery are a wonderful way to make an item personal and unique! Because the traditional monogram has evolved over the last 100 years, it can sometimes seem daunting to know the proper style and formatting of a monogram, and to select from the vast selection of fonts now available. We hope the rules and etiquette below will help guide you about the type of personalization you want for your order. 

To assist you with your options, we are narrowing your selection to the 8 most popular fonts and 10 basic thread colors when you choose to add a monogram or embroidery to your purchase. Please know that we will match your product with the best color in the thread family you choose, and will contact you before we stitch if we have any questions or uncertainty about the font you’ve selected. 

Our monogramming & embroidery is done in the backroom at Carolee’s. Our jewelry engraving is done by 2 professionals that we partner with for their products. We love monograms and personalized gifts and will always go the extra mile to be sure you are thrilled with your purchase. (If you have questions we didn’t answer here, please call the shop at 770-417-8688.) 



First, last, middle; with the center initial larger than the flanking initials.

For Example, Callie Riegel Smith = CSR


First, last, maiden; with the center initial larger than the flanking initials.

Julie Sculac Armstrong = JSA


First, middle, last; with all initials being the same size is the most traditional style. 

Gram Calhoun Smith = GCS

But a stacked monogram is another nice option, where the first initial is stacked on the middle initial and the last initial is large to the right.  

Gram Calhoun Smith =  CS


Single letter monograms can be used for anyone, single, married, kids,... It can be first or last initial. The product would most likely determine which letter. For example, a bath towel for a child would have a first initial, while towels for a young adult or married couple would have a last name initial. 


If you do want to create a “duogram,” or a combined monogram, the tradition of “ladies first” holds true. Use the wife’s first initial, the couple’s married last name in the center, and the husband’s first initial last.

Kelly and Reed Damron = KDR


A cypher is a decorative two letter monogram that can be used to combine a first and last name (dropping the middle or maiden initial) or two different last names when the partners both keep their last names.

Mary Black, or Cindy Miller & William Brand = 


When a woman decides to keep her maiden name and use a hyphen to combine it with her married name, her monogram becomes 4 letters; first initial, maiden initial, married initial, middle initial. A hyphen between the maiden and married name is optional. 

Carolee Wicklief Armstrong-Smith = CASW  or CA-SW


When it comes to embroidering names, dates, and other personal information, there aren’t nearly as many rules! We often put a baby’s full name and a birthday on gifts for a newborn... every mother wants to see her baby’s name in writing. Gifts for children also often include first names. Graphics, like baseballs, flowers, horses, pawprints, etc,... can also be added. The possibilities and the fun are endless!


We also embroider logos for corporate clients, businesses, schools, churches, etc… We are able to get your existing logo or design digitized so our machine can stitch it, but do custom design, as well. We can accommodate large and small jobs, and provide the products you’d like to have customized.