November '14

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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68 | Printwear N ov e m b e r 20 1 4 Get Creative Stretch the traditional monogram's boundaries for a custom look b y E r i c h c a m p b E l l Defining customer expec- tations A successful monogram design starts with understanding your customer. Monogram- ming, by nature, is a personal art. With so many styles of digitized monogram alpha- bets from different design eras and various execution methods, it's important to under- E ven within the short span of my career, historically speak- ing, monogramming has en- joyed multiple waves of pop- ularity. With every typographical tide, a decorator's challenge centers on making monogramming fresh, relevant, and memorable. Given the monogram's prev- alence and longevity, it may seem impos- sible to innovate or improve the art, but the monogram's simplicity lends itself to a variety of applications and styles. By stretching our imagination, we can make what seems like a symbol of aristocratic aspiration into an expressive form of personalization that applies to customers of every walk of life. Making memorable monograms begins with discovering customers' wants and needs, respecting tradition when necessary, and learning how to break the rules in the right way and at the right time. If we avoid common design pitfalls and tweak variables to create truly custom pieces, we will find a wealth of options for creating original and remarkable expressions of our customers' personalities. Erich Campbell is an award-winning commercial embroidery digitizer of 13 years and long-time e-commerce manager, currently digitizing and creating online properties for Albuquerque, N.M.-based Black Duck. A current industry blogger and once Medieval- ist-in-training turned tech-obsessed embroidery designer, Campbell brings his varied experience and interests to bear on numerous industry publications and projects. Reach him at

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