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Designing a Monogram

An interview with
Hope Meng


Some of the most famous logo designs in the world feature a monogram, including General Electric, Louis Vuitton and Hewlett-Packard. But how do you approach designing a monogram? In this weeks episode Ian's joined by Hope Meng to find out.

Hope is a brand designer and lettering artist from San Francisco, CA. In November 2015 she started Monogram Project, a personal challenge to draw every letter combination from AA to ZZ. In this episode we learn more about the project and the lessons learned to help you design monograms for yourself. We also discuss TEXT/TILE project, as well as productivity tips and tools to allow time for personal projects.

Hope Meng Interview Transcription

Ian Paget: How I found out about you was through your work with monograms. I understand that you have been teaching and you've also been working on a project called the Monogram Project. I think this is awesome, so for listeners, would you mind explaining what this is and what's the reason why you started to work on it.

Hope Meng: Sure. I started Monogram Project about... I guess it's about four and a half years ago now in November of 2015 and honestly, I sort of started it on a whim after noticing that whenever I sat down to begin sketching logos for a new client, I always wanted to start with a monogram.

Just to back up a little bit, my day job is as an independent designer and I mostly do work in branding. I also noticed that I wasn't really getting hired to do the range of type style that I was capable of or interested in.

I live and work in the San Francisco Bay Area and, as you can imagine, there's a lot of startups here, a lot of design-driven companies, but those kinds of companies aren't necessarily going to hire you to do a black letter logo or type with extreme contrast or scripts. Those are the types of styles that I was super interested in.