Monograms are powerful tools in modern brand design. In this tutorial, we show you how to make a monogram in Photoshop. Ready to make it your own?
We'll show you how to design a logo with two monogram letters. Envato Elements has some great monogram fonts, and we'll be using assets from their library. If you want a great time-saver, we can show you an awesome monogram creator to design custom monograms at the end of the tutorial.
What Is a Monogram?
Monograms date back to 350 BC. Greek cities were the first to issue coins with the first two letters of the city's name, and monograms have since been used throughout history as a practical way of identifying cities and empires. They have evolved into a form of brand design. Monograms are motifs made up of two or more letters to form a single unified symbol. Their purpose is to represent a brand, person, or company in a stylish way.
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What You'll Learn in This Monogram Logo Design Tutorial
- How to create a new document in Adobe Photoshop
- How to add guides in Adobe Photoshop
- How to design a monogram logo
- How to use Layer Masks in Photoshop
- How to use Smart Layers in Photoshop
Monogram fonts are available at Envato Elements and GraphicRiver. To complete this tutorial, you'll need the following monogram fonts:
Before we start, make sure that the fonts are installed in your system and you're ready to create your custom monogram!
1. How to Set Up a Photoshop File for a Monogram Design
In Photoshop, go to File > New and create a file with the following dimensions:
- Width: 1280 px
- Height: 720 px
- Portrait: Landscape
- Units: Pixels
- Resolution: 72 pixels/inch
- Color Mode: RGB
We'll create guides in the document to make sure the monogram design is centered. Head over to View > New Guide Layout. In the New Guide Layout option window, set the number of Columns and Rows to 2 and the Gutter to 0 cm.
Under Margin, maintain the default of 1.27 cm. Click OK.
2. How to Design a Monogram Logo
Head over to the Tools panel and select the Text Tool (T). Click on the document to add a single initial; I’ll add "O". Add another text layer with the letter "R". Set the initials to Monogram World 5 Regular on the Character panel.
Open the Glyphs panel by going to Window > Glyphs.
On the Glyphs panel, you’ll notice different options for the monogram letters. This specific monogram font contains wide and regular-width characters. In this case, I’ll select the wider "O" from the Glyphs panel. Select the "O" and double-click on the wider "O" on the Glyphs panel to add the character. For the "R", keep the regular width.
On the Layers panel, select both monogram letters by pressing Shift and clicking on each layer. Head over to the Options bar and align both letters by clicking on Align horizontal center and Align vertical center. Using the Move Tool (V), place both monogram letters in the center of the document.
On the Layers panel, head over to Create New Fill or Adjustment > Solid Color. Add a new solid black layer.
In the Layers panel, right-click on the "O" layer and select Blending Options to open the Layer Style window.
In the Layer Style window, check the Stroke option from the left side menu.
For the Stroke option, set the Size to 5 px, Position to Outside, and Color to White.
In the Layers panel, right-click on the O layer and select Copy Layer Style. Right-click on the R layer and select Paste Layer Style.
To be able to create an interlocking monogram, we need to convert the layers into Smart Objects. Right-click on each layer and select Convert to Smart Objects.
In the Layers panel, select the O layer. Click on Add Layer Mask. Repeat this step with the R layer.
Select the Brush Tool (B) from the toolbar. Make sure you have the Foreground Color set to Black.
In the Layers panel, select the Layer Mask thumbnail on the R layer. While using the Brush Tool, swipe over the areas you’d like to have interlock. For me, those would be the areas where the "R" and the "O" intersect—more specifically, the top-left corner and the bottom-right corner.
Layer Masks are useful to hide and reveal parts of a layer without erasing them. If you make a mistake, you can easily fix it by changing the foreground color to white and perfecting your design.
From here, you can get a couple of different results, depending on what you’re looking for. Here are a few examples of interlocking or merged initials.
3. How to Add Finishing Touches to the Monogram Logo
Use the Text Tool (T) to add a text layer. I added "Oregon". Use the Characters panel to change the settings. Set the text Size to 50 pt and the Tracking to 100.
With the Text Tool (T) activated, head over to the Options bar. Select the Create Warped Text button. In the Warp Text options window, set the Style to Arc, select Horizontal, and set the Bend to +25%. Click OK.
Place the text over the monogram.
Using the Text Tool (T), add another text layer. I added "Rugby Team". Use the Characters panel to change the settings. Set the text Size to 50 pt and the Tracking to 100.
With the Text Tool (T) activated, head over to the Options bar. Select the Create Warped Text button. In the Warp Text options window, this time set the Style to Arc, select Horizontal, and set the Bend to -25%. Click OK.
Place the text under the monogram.
Last, we’ll add "ESTD." and "1998" on each side of the monogram logo. Select the Text Tool (T), and create one layer to add "ESTD." Using the Character panel, set the font to Calderock, the Size to 30 pt, and the Tracking to 200.
Duplicate the layer by pressing Option and dragging the text towards the right. Additionally, press Shift to maintain the same horizontal or vertical alignment.
Select the Text Tool (T) and change the text to a year.
From here, you can change the color of your design. Remember that we created Smart Layers for the initials. To edit the color, double-click on the Smart Layer. A new Photoshop file will open with the Smart Layer. Select the layer and open the Character panel to change the color. Once you’ve changed the color, press Command-S to Save the edits.
Close the window and you’ll see the new color in the design.
Repeat the same step with the other initial of the monogram design.
I also went ahead and changed the color of the background through the Color Fill layer and recolored the text.
To add dimension to the monogram design, we can add a drop shadow. Select both initial layers by pressing Command and clicking on one layer and then the second layer. Right-click and select Duplicate Layers.
Select both duplicated layers, right-click, and select Merge Layers.
Right-click on the merged layer and select Blending Options. Check and select the Drop Shadow from the left menu. Set the Blend Mode to Multiply, Opacity to 30%, Angle to 130, Distance to 25 px, Spread to 20%, and Size to 80 px. Click OK.
Right-click on the merged layer and select Copy Layer Style. Select all four text layers added on each side of the monogram design. Right-click and select Paste Layer Style.
Congratulations, You're Done!
In this tutorial, you learned what a monogram is: one of the most useful and powerful tools of brand design to distill a brand into a single design. Knowing how to make a monogram logo is essential for creating awesome brands. Below, you'll find a quick monogram maker that can save you lots of time. Designing your monogram online is a quick way to freshen up your brand!
If you're looking for monogram fonts, make sure to check out Envato Elements and GraphicRiver. They have an extensive library to be discovered. Alternatively, if you're pressed for time, Placeit is an excellent monogram creator. Get your own custom monogram online in just a few minutes.
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