In the following tutorial, you'll learn how to make a circle monogram in Illustrator.
First, you'll learn how to set up a simple grid and how to create the starting shape that will make up your monogram design.
Using basic vector-shape building techniques, a linear gradient, and some subtle effects, you'll learn how to make a monogram compound path and how to stylize it.
If you don't have the time to learn how to make a monogram, you can always try Envato Elements, where you'll find a massive collection of monogram design ideas. This set of monogram designs is just one of the many examples.
While some people love to follow a detailed written tutorial, others prefer to learn by watching a video. If you belong to the latter group, I'm sure you'll enjoy this new video from the Envato Tuts+ YouTube channel. Learn how to create a circle monogram in Illustrator by watching this:
What You'll Learn in This Monogram Illustrator Tutorial
- How to set up a grid
- How to create and edit vector shapes
- How to make a monogram shape
- How to create a circle monogram in Illustrator
1. How to Create a New Document and Set Up Grid
Hit Control-N to create a new document. Select Pixels from the Units drop-down menu, set the Width and Height to 850 px, and then click that Advanced Options button. Select RGB for the Color Mode and set the Raster Effects to Screen (72 ppi), and then click the Create button.
Enable the Grid (View > Show Grid or Control-") and Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid or Shift-Control-"). You will need a grid every 10 px, so simply go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid, and enter 10 in the Gridline every box and 1 in the Subdivisions box. Try not to get discouraged by all that grid—it will make your work easier, and keep in mind that you can easily enable or disable it using the Control-" keyboard shortcut.
You can learn more about Illustrator's grid system in this short tutorial from Andrei Stefan:
You should also open the Info panel (Window > Info) for a live preview with the size and position of your shapes. Don't forget to set the unit of measurement to pixels from Edit > Preferences > Units. All these options will significantly increase your work speed. Now that you're set, let's learn how to make a monogram.
2. How to Create the Starting Shapes of the Monogram Design
Focus on your Toolbar and pick the Ellipse Tool (L), and then focus on the color settings. Select the fill and remove the color, and then double-click the stroke and set it to yellow.
Click and drag while holding down the Shift key or simply click on your artboard to create a 310 px circle—the grid and Snap to Grid should make it easier.
Make sure that this new shape stays selected and focus on the control panel. Increase the stroke Weight to 40 pt and set the alignment to artboard, and then click the Horizontal Align Center and Vertical Align Center buttons to easily move your circle to the center of the artboard.
Make sure that your circle is still selected and go to Object > Path > Add Anchor Points twice.
Switch to the Direct Selection Tool (A), select the rightmost anchor point (highlighted in the first image), and press the Delete key to remove it.
For this step, you will need a grid every 5 px, so go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid again, and enter 5 in that Gridline every box.
Pick the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 130 x 135 px shape, and place it as shown in the following image. Make sure that the stroke Weight is set to 40 pt and change the color to red.
Make sure that your rectangle is still selected and go to Object > Path > Add Anchor Points again.
Pick the Direct Selection Tool (A), use it to select the anchor point highlighted in the first image, and simply drag it 50 px down, as shown in the second image.
Make sure that the Direct Selection Tool (A) is still active, select the anchor point highlighted in the first image, and press the Delete key to remove it. From this point, you can disable the Grid (View > Hide Grid or Control-").
3. How to Create the Monogram Compound Path
Using the Selection Tool (V), select your two paths and add copies in front (Control-C > Control-F).
Keep these copies selected, change the stroke color to green, lower the stroke weight to 6 pt, and don't forget to check the Round Cap button from the Stroke panel.
Focus on the Layers panel (Window > Layers) to reselect your red and yellow paths, and then go to Object > Path > Outline Stroke.
Keep the resulting shapes selected and click the Unite button from the Pathfinder panel (Window > Pathfinder) to unite them.
Press Shift-X to easily swap the fill and stroke color settings. Change the stroke color to green, increase the Weight to 12 pt, and don't forget to check that Round Join button.
Use the Selection Tool (V) to select all your paths and go to Object > Path > Outline Stroke.
Keep the resulting shapes selected and click the Unite button from the Pathfinder panel, and then go to Object > Compound Path > Make (Control-8) to turn your shapes into a compound path.
4. How to Stylize Your Monogram Logo Design
First of all, let's add a simple background for this monogram logo design.
Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and use it to create an 870 px square. Fill it with R=31 G=42 B=68, make sure that it covers your entire artboard, and press Shift-Control-[ to send it to the back.
Reselect your monogram shape and fill it with a linear gradient. Set the Angle to 90 degrees and use the gold gradient shown below.
Check out this tutorial if you want to learn how you could use this same gold gradient to create an amazing gold text effect:
Alternatively, you can replace that gold gradient with the silver gradient from this tutorial:
Finally, let's add a subtle shadow for this monogram design.
Make sure that you have it selected and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the settings shown in the leftmost window, click OK, and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow again. Enter the attributes shown in the middle window, click OK, and go one more time to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the settings shown in the rightmost window, click OK, and with this final touch, this monogram Illustrator tutorial is complete.
Congratulations! You're Done!
Here is how your monogram design should look. I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial and can apply these techniques in your future monogram logo designs.
Feel free to adjust the final monogram design and make it your own. You can find some great sources of inspiration at Envato Elements, with interesting monogram design ideas.
Popular Monogram Designs From Envato Elements
Monogram World Vintage (AI, EPS)
If you don't have the time to learn how to make a monogram in Illustrator, you can always try this font that's specially designed to create monogram logo designs in a matter of seconds. This gives you over 600 alternatives to create a monogram in Illustrator.
A (A-Z) Monogram Logo Creator Pack (AI, EPS, PDF)
Try out this monogram creator to build an elegant and professional monogram design with just a few clicks.
Monogram World Classic (AI, EPS)
Here's another font that's designed for creating stunning monograms in no time. Each character is designed to perfectly combine with each other and create outstanding monograms in Illustrator.
10 Logo/Badge Templates Vol.5 (AI, PSD, PNG)
Here's a more straightforward pack of monogram design ideas. These monogram designs use only free fonts, so all you have to do is double-click the text and adjust it as you wish.
AE Vintage Monogram Logo Design (AI, EPS)
Looking for a vintage monogram logo design? This design might be what you're looking for. Feel free to adjust this monogram design and give it your own touch.
Want to Learn More?
We have loads of tutorials on Envato Tuts+, from beginner to intermediate level. Take a look!
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- PlaceitHow to Design a Monogram Logo (Using a Monogram Maker)Laura Keung
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- Fonts20+ Free Fonts for Silhouette (Script, Cursive, Monogram, and More)Daisy Ein
- Fonts25+ Best Free Fonts for Monograms & Logos (Download Now!)Nona Blackman