Timeless Design: Create a Monogram Using Your Initials | Jon Brommet | Skillshare

Timeless Design: Create a Monogram Using Your Initials

Jon Brommet, Graphic Designer

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6 Lessons (31m)
    • 1. Introduction

      2:19
    • 2. Sketching Your Monogram

      5:15
    • 3. Vectorizing Your Monogram - Part 1

      12:32
    • 4. Vectorizing Your Monogram - Part 2

      5:58
    • 5. Outro & Other Classes

      2:54
    • 6. A Message From Future Jon

      2:24

About This Class

What is a monogram? A monogram is a design overlapping or combining two or more letterforms. It’s essentially a fancy way of saying a Logo using Initials or an acronym. Monograms have been around since 350 BC. They’ve been used in religion, war, currency, and as a way for a craftsman to mark their name.


The best part of a monogram is they stand the test of time very well. You can create a beautiful monogram now that will still be considered beautiful in 100 years. Regardless of trends.


In this class I want you to use your initials and create your own monogram. You can use it for your company (like me!), or to stamp envelopes or whatever you want.


That brings me to the contest. For the first 2 weeks of this class, you will be eligible to win your monogram as a stamp. Just post your project to enter! See more details in the discussion.


I hope you'll enroll, and make a sweet monogram with me!

Transcripts

1. Introduction: Hey, what's up internet, my name is Jon Brommet, I'm a graphic designer and illustrator in Barrie Ontario, Canada. In this class I'm going to teach you how to create monograms. Monograms are really cool designs that use initials and they combine them together or have them near each other in a kind of a timeless appeal, they've been around since the early 1900s and even before that, I think some of them actually dated back to actually 500 BC or something depending on what you're looking at. But there are also some really cool timeless logos that are still being used that were developed 50 years ago. [inaudible] there's things like the CN railroad, New York Yankees logos, tons of famous logos that you're going to know and recognize right away like General Electric and things like that. It's a really cool way to design a mark and something that you should definitely know how to do. I'm going to walk you through the process of creating my logo, which is something I've been using since I started my company around five years ago. To me it's kind of timeless and cool and that's a really fun way to kind of add to my illustrations and kind of have a good overall branding experience by having that monogram on there. I'm a huge fan of baseball logos like the Yankees, like the Mets, like San Francisco Giants, St. Louis Cardinals, all those monograms to me are really cool, that's what inspired me to do mine. Hopefully you guys will find it really cool. The project for this class is to take your own initials and make a really cool monogram with it, you can use it for your company, you can use it to stamp things on envelopes or your friends faces, whatever you want to do. That leads me to the contest; for the two weeks after this class has been posted, the winning design of my choosing will get a stamp that I will provide them with and they can do whatever they want with it. I think you're going to find this class really cool, really informative, and just fun, it's easy to do and I think you're going to think it's cool, so enroll and we'll see in a second. 2. Sketching Your Monogram: When approaching your sketches, what you want to do is basically just come up with every idea possible. This is pretty true when you're making any logo. The goal is to just try and think of everything you possibly can and get it down on the paper as quickly as you can. Using the iPad Pro, and I'm using an app called Procreate, but it doesn't matter what you're using, the tools really don't matter. A good designer is going to be able to use whatever they've got. You know, obviously some of the best designers in the world were using pencils and paper, so use whatever you have and just come up with as many ideas as you can, as quickly as you can. Get them down onto the paper so that you can choose the best one or the best couple, and then you can bring those over onto your computer. What we're going to do is like I said, I'm just going to try and come up with as many ideas that I can't pretty quickly. Of course, my logo is already precreated, so when I show you actually making it, it's pretty straightforward. I know what it's going to look like already. If you don't, then that's even better. Some things to think about is you can try things like incorporating shapes. Let's just say we have a circle, for example, and your initials are obviously JB in this case, you can try incorporating the logo into there, feel free to add some little flares or something like that. Then you can get in there and erase the circle or whatever. Again, we're not really worried about having a good-looking design at this point, it's just about getting the idea on paper and just try and think about as much as you can. Again, I'm not trying to come up with anything too unique, I'm just playing around with ideas and see what flows. That's obviously the idea that I had. At some point, my thought was a big iconic logo design, just like a baseball logo, and I drew this thing and I like the idea of having these little rotate diamonds or whatever because that's what a loss or a traditional baseball font is if you look at something like the Boston Red Sox or something like that. That was a rough idea of what I came up with. Again, just try and come up with anything you can, try different types of scripts. You can get fancy with it and add some swirls and do whatever you want. There's definitely a lot of older designs that are going to use those really intricate ones with like the different flourishes to really just make them look nice. You can do all three of your initials. In my case, my middle name is Otto, that's O-T-T-O. Of course my initials spelled job, which is a word, so that's inconvenient. I don't want people when they see it to think like, "Oh, okay, why does it say job?" If you have initials that work like that, like maybe you've got A,B,C, then you can play around with trying to get those designs to work. Another thing that I like to do is I would look at a bunch of different fonts. Look at some old traditional Sign Painter fonts and picks some of your favorite fonts that you have on your computer and try and draw in those different styles to get yourself a little bit of an idea of the flow of the design. You might see a B that's really long, that's got a design like this, something different, and then you can work with your design from there. Again, you can add swirls and things like that, but you just want to get up every idea that you can. See you have a B that's got some real flourishes to it. I actually almost drew a J just right there, so maybe you've got something like this. Like I said, obviously I'm not too worried about the design looking too nice. Just look at all those inspiration images that you found. From mine I've got on Pinterest amongst that I put together for you. You can take a look at what I have there and see if maybe some of those ideas inspire you. Just keep coming up with as much as you can. I'm going to go quickly here, and I actually had to start a new board and I'm just going to time-lapse it and see whether you guys can get some inspiration from it. I'll see you in a few minutes. 3. Vectorizing Your Monogram - Part 1: So at this point, if you've drawn out your logo and you've picked your favorite one, you can have a scan of it, or if you drew it on your computer, that's fine too. We're going to go ahead and open that in Adobe Illustrator. So what I have here is I have two different sketches. I have the more well thought out one that would look a lot more like what I'm trying to do and the loose sketch here. Generally, this is what it would look like for me. I went ahead and did this so I can show you how to recreate it. But truthfully, if I was going to bring in this logo, I would probably have this on my side and that's it. I don't bother trying to make things perfect because you can just make them perfect on the computer ten times faster. So I would just have a sloppy design like this over to the side and I basically just try and play around with the shapes and recreate it and then also of course improve it. This is what you could do. If you actually had this really well thought out on, you can go ahead and drawn lines over top of it, and if you have this one, then you're just going to do them off to the side. For the sake of it, if you go ahead and make a real refined one, or even if you don't, I'm going to go ahead and copy it because in my case, I've actually got a design that I'm trying to recreate rather than start from scratch. I'm just going to center it in my shape and I'm going to shrink it down to fit. This design is a little bit funny, so it's visual center isn't the same as its Technical Center. I'm going to go over here to layers which is just under window and then down to layers, make sure that's checked. What I want to do, is I want to make this a template layer. So all I have to do is double-click on the layer and I'm going to click template and it's going to automatically dim images to 50 percent. I'm going ti go even lighter and I'm going to turn it down to 25 percent. You can see that it's dimmed and I can no longer drawn on this layer. That's okay. So what we'll do here is click a new layer to create a new line and that's what we're going to do all of our work. We'll hide that now and I'm just going to zoom in. I'm just hitting Z on my keyboard. Now basically, what we want to do is, you could use the pen tool. I've definitely use it for a lot of things and I've actually got a really cool Pen tool class that you can check out. I also did a class on using the Pathfinder and using shapes, which is technically the better and easier way to design most logos. I have a class on that as well, but this touched on some of the same stuff. But if you want to know more in depth on how pathfinder works and things like that, then you can go ahead and use that. So what I'm doing is most of the shapes I'm going to use either the Ellipse tool, a rectangle tool, and even for my design, I'm basically just going to use the Rectangle Tool and I'm going to round edges, which I'll show you how to do. So it's M on your keyboard, if you want to just use the quick key. What we're going to do, is we're going to drag our a box here. Once we're happy with it, we're going to color at something that stands out really well from the background. So I want to make it black. Another thing is most of the time your image is going to be RGB. What we want to do is go ahead and we're going to change our color mode to CMYK. It's just usually what you're going to want to use when you're designing logos and things that are printed. So this is still an RGB here. I'm going to switch this by going down a CMYK and I've got my customer swatches already designed and set up for me. I'll just click a black again just so it's nice 100 percent okay. Now what we're going to do is, hitting V on my keyboard will select this arrow tool over here. If I click on this and you'd see it moves all around and if I hold shift and option, what it's going to do is it's going to duplicate that shape over here. If I let go right now, then you can see this duplicated. Another thing we can do is come along here. I have smart guides and they're really useful. It's Command or Control U. What I'll do is that I'll actually snap to a point. If I turn them off for a second, you can see what'll happen here, is I'm going to go as close as I can to get in this. But if I zoom in really close, you'll see that they're not actually lined up at all, which is not good. So I'm just Command Z to undo that. If we hit control and command you to turn them back on, now you can see that it's actually going to snap to the point. If I draw that again and then zoom in again and go into my wire frame, you can see is exactly on the same line. That's definitely really useful when you're making logos, but sometimes when you're doing certain types of illustration, it'll get irritating and you're going to want to turn it off and on. So doing the same process again, we're going to click drag by holding Shift and Alt or option on a Mac and then we're going to let go. Then I'm going to do it again and make sure that snaps to the bottom there. So that's the basis of getting the b. Now of course, some of you may be thinking, well, couldn't I just use a font and absolute you can. Generally, that's what I would actually start off, especially for a monogram. I would use a font and then I would edit it and edit it until I'm happy. In this case because my design is so straightforward, I don't think I need a font. I can do it just using shapes and then I know it's a 100 percent, unique and different for me. I'm not just using someone else's font and changing it, but that's definitely okay feel free to do that. Basically what I want to do, is I'm going to get the main shapes down, and then we're going to worry about actually making it look like the real logo. I'm going to grab this shape and I'm going to drag it over here. Basically, the idea is any shape that's running vertical, I want it to be the same thickness and everything that's running horizontal I also want it to be the same thickness. I'm just going to hold shift and even drag this up here. So the bottom lines that with my bottom mark, and I'll bring this right up to the top. Now, I'm going to do it again. Hold Alt again, and make the shape fit down here. This may look a little weird at first, but once you understand that, you'll see what I'm doing here. So again, we're just doing the same process. Basically, I just want to get all of the shapes blocked in which I have essentially done now. The interesting thing is this is where the Pathfinder comes use in. So we're going to go hit to Window and we're going to make sure that Pathfinder is checked. What I want to do is I want to combine all the shapes of the letter J so that they're actually connected. If you're wondering why these shapes are highlighting as I go over them, that's the smart guides. If I hit Command or Control U again, you'll see that they're gone. But I like to have them on their pretty useful. I'm going to go ahead and I like to try and keep things as clean as possible, so I'm going to drag this here and here. Now, I'm holding shift so that all three of these shapes are connected. If I go over to the Pathfinder toolbar and I hit unite, Now this becomes one nice clean shape. If I want to get really picky about it, if I hit P on my keyboard, that's the Pen tool, I can hover over some of these random points that have been created because of the shapes being commanded, and I can click it to remove these little minus symbol pops up beside the pen tool. There you go, now have a really clean simple shape. The same exact thing can be done with the B. But first I just want to make a few little adjustments here. I'm going to put all them together and I'm going to group them. So that's Command Z or Control Z, and then I'm going to hit Command Y. This to go into our wire frame. Just because I want to take a look at some of the angles I have here in this little piece here. The easiest way to do that little cutout, is to make a rectangle or a square actually, and we're going to hold Shift and we're just going to drag out a square. Now, what I'm going to do is I'm going to rotate that. I'm going to just piece it in there roughly where I want. Now, technically what it probably should be is exactly centered to the shape, just to keep everything nice and clean. Then the cool thing is, I also have these little shapes that come out like that are based on baseball shapes. If you look at things like the Boston Red Sox or something like that, they have these little points that they're just fun baseball style. What I'm going to do is I'm going to bring it over to here. Again, it's up to you. You can maybe shrink it down a little bit so that it actually fits from this point to that point, probably makes more sense. I'm going to go ahead and delete these, do that again. I want this roughly centered from this space to that space bring it over here, do it again. Then if we want to, we should probably have a similar kind of thing happening here. So probably the easiest thing to do would be to draw a square and we're going to go right up to that point, and I'll go back to wire frame. Holding my pen tool, I'm just going to minus that point so we get a nice triangle. So let's get out of all these groups and thing. Now you can see why I'm doing that. I'm going to go ahead and I'm going to click and drag and make that down there, and then I'm going to go over to my rotate or Reflect tool, click it once and hit enter. Then we want to change it horizontally. We're going to click horizontal, click preview so you can see that it's flipped it nicely for us and we'll click OK. Let's look at a bit sloppy, but we're finally going to get somewhere in a second here, and it's going to make a lot more sense. What I'm going to do is I'm going to get rid of that rectangle or that square and I'm going to use this square instead, so that everything is consistent. Now, what we can do is we're going to click all of these pieces that we just created, except for this one, and I'll show you why. We're going to hit unite. Then I'm going to grab this piece and I'm going to click here. Then instead I'm going to hit divide should be right there. Now, what it does when you hit divide is it groups everything together. So what you want to do is hit Command Shift G or Control Shift G on a PC to ungroup it. Hold the Shift button and click the biggest piece that you want to keep. Now what it's going to do is going to select these two pieces and any kind of ghost pieces. Again, that's something I'll explain in other classes so you can check out the Pathfinder class. Click Delete, and there you go. So you've got that piece cut out now. The same basic principle goes on here. What I could have done if we actually go back, I'm going to go back just second soap and hit Control Z. I want to select this piece, so hit Command C or Control C. Then if you hit Command Shift Z or Control Shift Z, and we're going to go back forwards in time basically. All I'm doing is hitting undo and redo here. I just like to use the quick keys. But now we have that P selected, so I can go ahead and hit Command V., and now I can actually simply use that piece and put it right here. I'm going to zoom in real close. Sometimes what will happen is it will want to snap because there's other pieces interfering with it. But that's okay. Once again, we're using our Reflect tool, but we're going to reflect us on vertically, Click OK. I'm just using the wire frame. If you want to know where that is, you just go to View and you can see outline here, so Command Y. Now, with those pieces there, we're just going to do the same thing. I can actually group both of them. Again, sometimes you'll hit this little flaw where the smart guides have too many things that they're trying to connect to, so they're not going to do it as perfectly. But that's okay. Just zoom in as tight as you possibly can. Do it manually. Then I'll show you another little trick to making sure that that's a nice smooth line. Selecting those points, those trials that we just made in my J, I'm going to go ahead and unite them again. So basically right now I have my B. I lost a piece here, so let me write that. So I've got the B, I've got the J. Pretty straightforward. What I want to do is I want to start to make this B shape look a little bit more realistic as far as I like to have some curves in there. What I actually did with my design is I actually round at a lot of the corners. What I can do is I actually have my real one here, and we're gonna zoom in. You can see, I like to round it everything. I made everything a little bit smooth there, so I round it all of these little points, all these little edges. This one had like a different piece which I'll show you soon. But you can see that everything is nicely and smoothly rounded. So that's what we want to do here again. This shape may not actually be identical to this shape, because again, I just want to buy a rough sketch. But of course you're not going to have anything to compare it, so it doesn't matter. 4. Vectorizing Your Monogram - Part 2: So over here we're going to use our direct selection tool, which is A on the keyboard, and we're going to select the letter B. Now what will happen automatically in newer versions of Adobe Illustrator, and if you have older one, that's going to be a little trickier, so I'm just going to stick with the new ones. Is you'll see these little circles with a dot in them. What they will do is they'll actually round the corners of your shapes. So I'm going to go ahead and click it and I'm going to drag in, and I'm just going to round them just a little bit, almost unnoticeable amount. But now you can see if we zoom in, that all of these edges are nicely rounded. See it's rounded a little bit everything for us. Now of course, some things we're going to need to round more. So if I click over at this point, we're going to grab that tool, and what I could actually do is click at both of these points at once, and round those even more to get that shape that we want for the B. The same thing we'll go here. So I'm going to click this point, click this point, that way we're making the same rounded area at the same time. You can see that we can have a nicer B happening there with some nice round shapes. So now we want to do the same thing with the letter J. So I'm going to go up to this point and this point, because I want them to be rounded about the same. You could round these points as well, I chose not to. Again, all this stuff is personal preference, so do whatever you think looks cooler. Some of these points can be moved around. I think I made a bit more of a point of making sure that this space here was nice and stuff, but I don't want to spend too long getting finicky when the idea is just to show you how to create your own version. So going into wireframe, you can see that there is a piece here that was deleted. So I'm going to go ahead and I'm going to draw a rectangle. I'm going to fill it with white. I'm going to do the same here. So again, we want to make sure that this snaps exactly to the right point. If we're happy with that, we can go ahead and select our J, select both of these pieces and hit "Divide", and hit "Command Shift G" to ungroup. Ungroup both of these pieces, click "Delete", and now we've got our J cut nicely where that piece was. So you can see that we're really close. So the last thing that we want to do is just add the points down here. I might then change them a little bit to have this up hill as well, but basically what we can do is if we select this piece, I'm going to drag it over here just to show you and copy it. I'm going to rotate it by holding shift or it'll actually snap when you rotate it. I'm going to bring it right back, so you can see now that that's exactly level. Then what I did was I had these pieces here, so I'm going to delete the two little ones, grab these two pieces and just bring them up a little bit. Then you can see on mine, I decided to make these pieces in a little smaller. So using my mouse or my arrow tools, I'm just going 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3, just to make sure that they're level. Again, I'm referring a lot to my original design, but this is all going to be based on the look that you want. Then once we're happy with that, what we can do, you see I've got these little extra points here, well I'll fix that. So I'm going to double-click this, then it goes up, and now we're going to combine these two pieces. We're going to do the same thing with the J, so with the direct selection tool, I'm selecting both of these and I'm just going to slightly round all these edges, which is something I could have done with both shapes just to make sure they're right. Now we can go ahead and go back to our layer. We can hide our template layer, delete this. You can see that I've basically recreated my logo. It's not too difficult. I've kept these both separate. Now if we want to make them really bulletproof, I'll just select everything, we'll go over here to click "Unite", and now this is just one big piece that's created your logo. Again, like I said, something that I'd like to do is go in here just from combining all of those shapes, you're going to get some little straggler points that you don't need to be there, so you use your pen tool, go ahead and just click along and delete any of the pieces that you don't need. Any of that or just sitting there and victims from the hitting "Unite" and "Go Line", "Clean It Up", and then once you've got it all cleaned up, you've got your monogram finished. So that's the basics of creating in Adobe Illustrator. Definitely using the shapes and the pathfinder tool. It's the exact same thing if you were to just use fonts. So what I would do here, let's just show you real quick. I'll make a J. Let's say I was basing it off of using a font like this. It doesn't really matter what the font is. Anyway, if you're creating your design and you want to use a font for it, then once you've done, you can leave those over here. Again, a lot of copying and pasting, if you've seen Geoffrey class, I agree a 100 percent with what he said. Copy your design over, keep pieces of it, that way you know what font you used. It's just easier that way. I'll select both things and we're just going to go to type, and then go down to create outlines. Now, you basically have the exact same thing again, where you can start to move these around, and use Direct Selection Tool, and round corners. You basically have the same system as what I had here, but just using fonts which you can edit and change however you want. You can grab pieces, and move them around, and do whatever you want with the font. So if you're not as comfortable with using shapes using the pathfinder, start with the font. That'll make it a little bit easier for you, and then you can go on from there. So that's our finished monogram. Again, if you made it, and you're done, and you're happy, go ahead and post it to the class project. I'm going to pick a winner within the first two weeks to get a stamp with their design. That's pretty straightforward for this. Then I got a call out show a video and I'm going to tell you about a future class that's, I think you should really check out and get ready for it. It's going to have a massive contest, the biggest one definitely by far. So we'll see in a minute. 5. Outro & Other Classes: Thank you so much for taking the class. I hope you enjoyed it. There will be learned a few things, and I'm really looking forward to seeing what monograms you guys come up with. I just wanted to show you really quickly that if you go to my profile, which you should be able to just click my name in the class or you go to skillshare.com/jonbrommet, you can see the rest of the classes that I've taught. Obviously, this isn't online yet. This class and I'm showing, I got 10 other classes that I really think you should check out. There on a variety of different things. Some are on Photoshop, some on Illustrator, some are both, some are more hands on. But there's a lot of classes here that I've a mass down that I think a lot of them are going to teach you guys really unique things. Some of them are just going to be useful even in a class like this one like the pathfinder class is really useful. The pen tool class is going to be really useful for you getting comfortable in Illustrator. The stickers class, I show you how to set files up properly, so that's always useful. There's definitely a lot of really cool classes, I'll say to yourself for print which shows you how to do that to. Texture, some of you might notice that my logo has lot of texture on it. If you checked out the texture class, it'll show you exactly how to add those textures to your logos. More or less, just a lot of playing around and seeing what it's cool. Did a class on half-tones and a class on block printing, which is a hands on, hand carving, linoleum and things like that. Yeah, really check out these classes because I think that I've made a lot of classes that are going to be really useful to you and that you can learn from. Of course, you can find me on Instagram @Jonbrommet, I post a lot of different stuff on there. I'm also on Twitter and Facebook and, Dribbble, Behance, and I don't even know what else. You can find me on all of those places @Jonbrommet. I didn't mention that I want to talk about my new class. I can't say what it is just yet, but I have a new class coming that is going to be themed on a camp and outdoor subjects. Start coming up with an illustration that is focused on campaign. Whether there's like bonfires or tents or mountains just like outdoor wildlife. It can have type or not, like a cool expression or something like that. But basically it's going to be a really great class. You're only going to have a short while to enter the contest. But the contest is huge. It's going to be, I think around $750-$1,000 worth of stuff that you're going to get. So it's huge. I think you'll really enjoy that class had been preparing for it for a few months. I'm really excited. Basically, I'm waiting for my product to get it in the mail. That shows you that you're going to get a cool product with your stuff on it. Once I get it, I'm going to make the class and it's going to be awesome. That's your head's up. Start working on those designs so that you prepared for that class. Hopefully, it'll be out in the next month or so. I'm not certain it just depends on the delays and how long it takes to get me get the products to me. Yeah, thanks so much for taking the class and I'm sure we'll see you soon with a new one. 6. A Message From Future Jon: Wait, I"m adding one more thing. This is teacher Jon Brommet talking to you. I hope you enjoyed the course that you just watched. Some of these classes have been recorded a few years ago. I just wanted to give a little up to date on what I'm doing now. You can see that I've put out a ton of classes potentially from the class that you just watched as you may have been watching one of my older classes. If you go over to my profile, you can click it somewhere on the Skillshare website or go to skillshare.com-jonbrommet. Spell just like that with no H, just J-O-N. You'll see here, I've got things broken down in my newest classes. This may even look slightly different for you because I'm putting out classes once a month right now. I've got my most popular classes, illustration, efficiency in Illustrator, Photoshop stuff, and then all of my other classes and make sure that if it's not already selected, you click see more to see the rest of it. Many different classes. I hope you guys will be inspired to learn lots more and hopefully you're enjoying my classes and want to see more. If that's not enough, I'm @jonbrommet on Instagram so you can check out my Instagram as well to know what I'm doing. I post all my new artwork there and of course let you know when I'm doing new Skillshare stuff. I've started a YouTube channel where I put short videos that are instructional. I obviously advertising in my Skillshare class, but short videos that I can't really put a whole-class out, I put here on YouTube. I even do things like have conversations with other teachers, like Tabitha Park, plan to do that stuff more often. If you head over to jonbrommet.com, I've newly updated my website. I have a digital shop or you can grab my procreate brushes or other things like that. On top of seeing my different portfolio elements and things like that. I've also got a Etsy Shop, which I'll click here and it would open this. You can buy all of my pins and different art things that I've created and I will ship them to you from me. I've gotten them all produced here in my home and they look awesome and I know that they're cool. I just recently started a Threadless Shop, which you could click here because there's about Skillshare contact, everything's linked from our website. This new Threadless Shop has all my merch that can be printed on demand on a really weirdly wild variety of things. Like I don't know, let's just click one of these things here. It's going to open a t-shirt but let's just say maybe instead of a t-shirt you wanted I don't know, what a duvet cover or shower curtains? Why wouldn't you want those things? I don't know. Anyway, I've got lots of different things going on. If you'd like what I'm doing and please check out more of that and I'll keep making more things. Thanks everyone. Bye bye.