Discover more from Marian Bantjes is Writing Again
Much has been made recently of 22.2.22. I like things like this, but I’m also partial to roman numerals. While others were rejoicing the turnover from 1999 to 2000, I was more excited about the change from MCMXCIX to the gloriously simple MM. Especially as the letter M is one of my favourites (ahem).
So the year MMXX didn’t escape my attention, nor did this year MMXXII. This is the last time we will have double letters in the year until MMCC (2200, which is also nice), and I will be long dead (as will we all).
I teach an online course for Art Center (Pasadena), and one of the lessons is on monograms. Now, one of the extra beautiful things about MMXXII is that no matter what order you put them in, according to the logic of roman numerals, they will always resolve to 2022. There’s no such thing as XM, and while there is IX, that extra I means it has to be MMXXII. (This isn’t true of all roman numerals, btw.)
So the task I set my students was to create a symmetrical monogram of MMXXII, where letters can overlap, or rotate 90 or 180 degrees to create a pleasing mark. I did a few sketches myself, above, to satisfy myself that there were many possibilities … and as always turns up in the class, the variations on a simple theme are always astonishing. Below is a selection from the class:
And the last one gets my highest praise, in that I wish I had done this: