One of the most important decisions in buying a monogrammed gift is selecting the monogram style and order of the initials. The monogram style should be chosen to complement the taste of the couple and the item you are monogramming. Below are a few general guidelines for monogramming to make it easier for you.
For an Individual
When monogramming for an individual, you may choose to use either the first initial, last initial, or all three initials. While this is largely a matter of personal preference, there is a tendency to use only the first initial when monogramming personal items for a woman and all three initials when monogramming personal items for a man.
If you are doing a three-letter monogram with all three letters the same size, the initials should go in the same order as the name. William Franklin Smith would be monogrammed WFS. This is a common method for men's items.
If you are doing a three letter monogram with the middle letter larger than the other two, then the middle letter should be the initial of the last name. William Franklin Smith would be monogrammed WSF with the "S" slightly larger.
For a Couple
When monogramming for a couple, it is always a good idea to ask the recipients how they would like their monogram to appear. As a rule of thumb, place the woman's first initial, followed by the couple's last initial slightly larger, followed by the man's first initial (the same size as the woman's first initial). Betty and Frank Jones would be monogrammed BJF with the "J" slightly larger.
When in doubt, it is also acceptable to do a single letter monogram using the first letter of the couple's last name.
For a person with no middle initial, use a two letter monogram with both letters the same size. Frank Smith would be monogrammed FS.
For a person with two middle names, use a four letter monogram with all four letters the same size. Betty Jo Elizabeth Martin would be monogrammed BJEM.
For last names with an apostrophe or "Mc" use the first letter of the last name. For O'Reilly, use "O" in the monogram or for McDonald, use "M".
For couples with a hyphenated last name, place the woman's first initial followed by the first letter of both last names slightly larger, and the man's first initial the same size as the woman's first initial.