This site is full of creative poetry/art exercises that aim to bring pleasure back into using words and writing. We welcome the participation of you and your child, please have a look at the list of contents, or the blog archive and try out any of the exercises that you like the look of. We welcome your comments on the success (or otherwise) of the idea…

Wednesday 10 November 2010


A monogram is a motif made by overlapping or combining two or more letters to form one symbol.

artists and craftspeople's monograms

Throughout history, artists and craftspeople have signed their work in a number of ways, often with a monogram. Monograms first appeared in the West on coins, around 350BC. In China the tradition of signing your artwork with a stamp ('stampo') is very ancient. The same idea is used by graffiti artists to design their tags.

Virkotype monograms

A really lovely exercise is to design your own monogram. You can try:

* Playing with your own initials by overlapping different sizes of letters
* Try different shapes outlining the monogram in circles, diamonds, squiggles...
* Use colour
* Try designing a monogram for a friend or family member
* Next time you draw or paint a picture, sign it with your personal monogram.

Joe's swirling monogram

Joe's exploding monogram

For children who enjoy drawing and designing, this is a sideway step into to writing. They're beginning the process of writing without even realizing it. 

Exercises like these help to foster joy and delight in letter forms. Individual letters can be playful and played with and children can take ownership of them, banishing the fear and boredom from writing. 

Joe's monogram

Joe's initials, not truly a monogram as they're not joined into one whole, but still a lovely job - an artwork in its own right/write. 

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