Can you tell a story in a few words, or even a letter? Oh yes! You can do so by creating a monogram logo. While logos are the most recognizable face of any brand, not all of them are designed equal. While some logos are simple but quickly identifiable (like Nike and Apple), others may be highly intricate but easily forgotten. The goal is to create an emblem that’s simple and easily memorable. One of the most effective ways to do this is with a wordmark logo. Here, you use the brand’s initials to fabricate a logo design that’ll help your audience recognize your brand at a glance. While using initials may seem simple and obvious to a layperson, there are in fact hundreds of techniques to turn them into a memorable icon.
History and Significance of Two-Letter Monogram Logos
Monograms or lettermarks are one of the most primitive forms of identification, used by the Ancient Greeks on coins to symbolize different cities. For ages, monograms were used by artists on their artwork, and by royal families for distinction (typically to declare property) and for special invitations.
Two-letter monogram logos came into existence in the late 19th century, particularly in the fashion industry. Luxury fashion houses like Giorgio Armani, Louis Vuitton, and Gucci have some of the most iconic two-letter logo designs, which are instantly recognizable and have been around for decades. Other famous examples include General Electric, Hewlett-Packard (HP) and Life’s Good (LG).
What’s interesting about these logo designs is the simplicity and sentimental value it carries — the use of initials creates memorable acronyms that have a deeper connection to the brand’s values. They are also a smart choice for companies with lengthy or difficult to pronounce names. For example, LV stands for Louis Vuitton, and even though it’s a complicated French name and not everyone knows French, it’s instantly recognizable.
The General Electric Company (or better known as General Electric) is a New York based multinational conglomerate company, with total assets of US$ 685.300 billion. Originally designed in 1892, the first GE logo featured a very elegant and decorative monogram, where two ornate letters, “G” and “E”, with curved tails were positioned close to each other, touching the edges and even overlapping each other. The simple black and white color palette added to the monogram’s timeless beauty, focusing on the brand’s professionalism and commitment to quality.
After undergoing numerous changes in the following years, the current logo was designed in 2004 and featured a circular badge in an ornate frame, containing the two initials, “G” and “E”, with curled ends and seamless lines. The light blue and white color combination evokes a sense of reliability, and confidence, while also depicting the company’s ability to grow, evolve and improve without losing its essence.
Born out of a merger of two Korean brands, Lucky and GoldStar, LG Corp. is a huge conglomerate that manufactures electronics, chemicals, and telecommunications products. The company owns its own subsidiaries such as LG Display, LG Electronics, LG Telecom and LG Chem. With a total asset of around $159.157 billion (in 2009), the business has approximately 186,000 people working in more than 80 countries worldwide. The original logo featured a red and white symbol and a black inscription in Korean to its right. The solid red emblem had a stylized white letter “L” on it.
The current logo was designed in 2014, consisting of the initials “L” and “G” in a circle, which represented the planet, future, youth, compassion and technology. The smiling face also symbolized the relentless efforts of the organization to make their customers happy. The human touch to the logo has made it more inviting and approachable. The “one eye” represents the brand as focused, goal-oriented, and positive. Purposely left blank and abstract, the upper-right hand space in the emblem represents the company’s constant quest for creative thinking, innovation and adaptability.
The Louis Vuitton logo, generally referred to as the LV logo, is one of the most renowned and legendary fashion logos in the world. The original logo, which was designed in 1896 as the brand’s corporate identity, featured a Japanese-inspired flower motif to avoid any piracy of the Parisian company’s designer luggage. This exemplary LV logo has now become a face for class, comfort, splendor, and luxury.
Although the logo is composed of the full wordmark and an iconic monogram, the two-letter emblem is the chief design feature and is extensively used for Louis Vuitton’s buckles and fabric patterns. Designed towards the middle of the 19th century, the logo didn’t undergo many changes since then. Most importantly, the logo is scalable, adaptable, and doesn’t always use the wordmark “Louis Vuitton” at the base of the emblem. Today, the brand mostly uses only the two-letter LV emblem for advertising.
H & M
H&M, one of the world’s largest and most successful clothing retail brands, has stores in more than 60 countries and 130,000 employees. The first H&M logo was designed when the brand was named Hennes and consisted of a single logotype. The handwritten wordmark in a bold typeface was placed slightly diagonally, looking bold yet friendly.
After undergoing a series of changes in the following years, the current H&M logo was redesigned in 1999, but it was more a modification than rebranding. It features a bright red monogram, without any framing. Two handwritten capitalized letters “H” and “M” have a small ampersand in between them, in the same red shade. The contours of the letters are straight and strong, giving the logo a more distinct and professional look.
Michael Kors is a globally acclaimed American company that specializes in the production of luxury shoes, clothing, and accessories. The logo of the world-famous fashion house has remained constant throughout the years and was originally designed by Michael Kors – the owner himself. The logo consists of the initials “M” and “K”, with the left vertical leg of the “M” overlapping with the right vertical leg of the K.
The lettermark is positioned inside a bold circle frame, with a wordmark under it – the brand name in capital letters. The sleek, simple letters without sans serif indicate their quality of products. While the official logo colors are black, white, and gold, premium and limited range items are complemented by a solid gold or metal gilded emblem with artificial diamonds.
Volkswagen, the world’s biggest car manufacturer and one of the most successful volume automobile companies, was founded in 1937 by the German Labor Front under Adolf Hitler, with its headquarters in Wolfsburg. Their first logo consisted of the two letters “V” and “W”, positioned one above the other, with a frame, depicting a cogwheel. In 1967, the logo got a makeover as black was changed to light blue, creating a friendly brand image.
The logo went through multiple changes in the following years until 2019 when it was redesigned to celebrate the company’s launch of electric cars. It’s simple, futuristic, and sophisticated, much like their car designs. The latest Volkswagen logo came back from 3D to 2D design, which makes it more sleek, luxurious, and classy.
Baskin-Robbins, an American international chain of ice cream and bakery shops, was launched by Burt Baskin and Irv Robbins in 1953. The company’s famous pink and blue logo features a large “BR”, highlighting the number 31 (the curve of the ‘B’ and the stem of the ‘R’) that stands for the company’s signature number of flavors. The number 31was purposely used to inspire visitors to come back each day of the month for an exciting new flavor. The quirky zig-zag font and color scheme represents a fun and playful mood, much like how you’d feel while (or soon after) enjoying their ice cream. This modified 2006 logo uses a commercial font similar to Variex Regular.
There’s something about letter-based logos that’s so catchy, intriguing, and memorable. As you could see, even world-class brands like Louis Vuitton and Volkswagen put this unique logo style to use. The key to success lies in their overtly simple yet meaningful two-letter logo designs. Whether you’re planning to get a new logo for your startup or considering a logo redesign, this unique logo style can be a great choice – provided you get it done professionally. Consult an experienced logo designer to get your dream logo design.
Business Development Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the Media and Digital marketing sector, Passionate about innovation and bringing the future into new business solutions.