Combine letterforms with designer strokes to create elegant mono-grams.

Featured artist: Hope Meng. Check out more of her work here: https://www.hopemeng.com/

Now try it yourself

1. Download the practice files and open "make-a-monogram.ai" in Illustrator. Meng uses the font BelyDisplay-Regular. If you haven’t used that font before, the Missing Fonts window will pop up. Click on Activate fonts to activate the font.

 

Tip: You can also reach the Missing Fonts window by going to Type > Resolve Missing Fonts.

Side by side graphic of a rocket ship in vector on the left and a blurry raster version of the same image on the right

Create outlines

2. Choose the Selection Tool (V) from the toolbar on the left and drag over the initials to select them.

 

3. Go to Type > Create Outlines to convert the type into an object with outlines that can be customized.

Side by side graphic of a rocket ship in vector on the left and a blurry raster version of the same image on the right

Customize the letterforms

4. Now customize the letterforms. Use the Direct Selection (A) tool to drag across the top of the ’t’ and ’k’.

Rectangle Tool selected in the tool bar, a vector owl graphic is shown in the Illustrator workspace with all points selected

5. With the upper anchor points selected, hold Shift and pull down on an anchor point to shorten it. The ’k’ should be now slightly under the red guide.

 

Tip: Meng included the white ghost image that you can use as a guide and also red guides that helps you aligning.

A text box that says "Owl Preserve of Oregon" is selected, the Character panel is open showing Font selections

6. Then drag across the crossbar of the ’t’ to select the two outer anchor points. Hold Shift and drag to the left to shorten it. 

 

Tip: You can also use the left arrow key on your keyboard to move the anchor points to the left.

A text box that says "Owl Preserve of Oregon" is selected, the Character panel is open showing Font selections

7. To remove the serif of the ’k’, drag across the two outer anchor points of the serif at the base and drag to the right to get a smoth edge.

A text box that says "Owl Preserve of Oregon" is selected, the Character panel is open showing Font selections

8. Use the Direct Selection (A) tool to select the top right anchor point of the ‘k’ and drag it to the red guide line. Do the same with the top left anchor point. 

 

9. Click the top-right anchor point of the ‘t’ and and drag it down to red guide line.

A text box that says "Owl Preserve of Oregon" is selected, the Character panel is open showing Font selections

Add decoration

10. Next draw the flourish decoration. Use the Pen (P) tool and start your path by clicking the red dot at the ‚k’ (A). Then click the second red dot (B) and drag to align the path to the reference path. Continue to draw your path by using the red dots as an orientation. Press Enter when finished. 

 

Tip: Ensure when drawing the path that the fill color is set to None and the stroke is set to Black. To change the colors, double-click the Color button in the tool bar to select a fill color or double-click on the Stroke button to select a stroke color.

A text box that says "Owl Preserve of Oregon" is selected, the Character panel is open showing Font selections

11. Choose Object > Path > Outline Stroke to create an object from the path.

A text box that says "Owl Preserve of Oregon" is selected, the Character panel is open showing Font selections

12. To unite the swirl and the monogram, use the Selection tool (V) to select both objects. Then go to Window > Pathfinder and click unite in the panel.

A text box that says "Owl Preserve of Oregon" is selected, the Character panel is open showing Font selections

13. Use the Direct Selection (A) tool and click the top inside corner of the ‘k’ > a mouse pointer with a quarter circle appears. Now drag the circle just beyond the anchor point to create a curved path between the ‘k’ and the swirl.

A text box that says "Owl Preserve of Oregon" is selected, the Character panel is open showing Font selections

14. Double-click the end of the decoration with the Direct Selection (A) tool and drag the anchor point to the right to create a flared endpoint.

A text box that says "Owl Preserve of Oregon" is selected, the Character panel is open showing Font selections

15. Finally go to the Layers panel (Window > Layers) and click the eye icon on the reference layer to make the layer invisible.

A text box that says "Owl Preserve of Oregon" is selected, the Character panel is open showing Font selections

That's it! Now it's your turn to make a monogram in Illustrator. Download the assets or use your own and share your result on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using #MadewithIllustrator to get feedback and connect with other creative minds.

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