Sunday, June 12, 2011

Graphic Design Firm: 8 Ways to Name a Company

Chicago Graphic Design

There are several ways to name a company, and some of the best known companies in the world have the strangest names. Did you know where they came from though? They'd don't just pop out of nowhere (well...not all of them), and there's usually a premeditated strategy behind their origins.

That's the case with many famous branding solutions behind Google, Pepsi, Ford, Digg and many others. Their names stick not only because they're simple, but they're different. There is no ideal way to choose a company name, but choose from the following 8 styles to shape your new company's name.

Family Names
This is the most common style of naming a company, and many car and manufacturing companies follow this convention. The person is usually the owner, founder, a child or perhaps even a celebrity! For example: Getty Images, Ford, Mercedes Benz, Boeing and Dell are all named after the owner or a family member.

Made Up
A creative way of naming a company is coming up with something that nobody has ever heard before or using a nick name. One reason for this might be to make the company sound foreign or to make it sound memorable. For example: Haagen-Dazs is a made up name with no meaning, and Meebo has absolutely no documentation behind it.


The most trendy and often used way of branding a company is using a metaphor or analogy. It's a term that is used to imply or to bear resemblance to something else. It may have no relation to your actual business, but that could be a selling point. Example: Apple, Adobe, and Fuji. Steve Jobs isn't selling apples, you can be sure of that!

Abbreviations or Acronyms
Most convenient, but perhaps not the smartest is using an abbreviation. It should be used only in cases of longer company names. When doing this, you should brand yourself based on how you want it pronounced, individually or as a single word, example: DKNY or BeBo. Example: FCUK - French Connection United Kingdom, and BMW - Bayerische Motoren Werke. Didn't know that one didja?

When you're running out of ideas, just mash two together. Microsoft? Microcomputer and Software. Skype? Sky and Peer to Peer. This naming convention is helpful when your business does more than one thing.

Mythical Origins or Derived
Many company names are formed from reading books, mythology or from a product they sell. Popular names have come from Greek, Latin and Gods and Goddesses such as Nike, Xerox and Volvo. Coca-Cola's name comes from the leaves and nuts used for flavoring.

Word Jumbles
When words aren't enough, combine numbers and letters instead. It adds a little bit more to the company name and can express a hint of techy vibes if needed. Examples are 3Com - a network technology producer, and 20th Century Fox, a film and movie studio.

Be Playful!
Sometimes company names are a mistake, or the owner having a little fun with word play. Sometimes the name comes out of the original idea being taken! Call it a twist of fate, but I call it pure genius. Some of these funny examples are (go figure) - Google, a mispelling of the word Googol, - was already taken, Harpo Productions, Oprah's name spelled backwards.

So the next time you're coming up with a new company name, look through the dictionary, or read a good book. Perhaps you can even take a few of your favorite words and screw around with the spelling. You never know what's going to stick and take off!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Chicago Graphic Design: Is your logo design killing your business branding

Chicago Graphic Design 

Exceptional Brand Identity Solutions: Chicago Graphic Design
Most businesses have a logo, but the vast majority of businesses have not used that logo to its full potential, or have even left their logo design and branding to an amateur designer or even having one of their staff make up a logo using clip art (gasp!). This is done without any real research into how a logo effects consumer perception, and is done without thinking about the entire branding concept. This is killing your business online and in person.

When was the last time you got someones business card and saw a little clip-art dude that you can get free on Microsoft's website? Probably not too often. Then why are YOU doing it? Take a little time to read through this post to see exactly how your logo effects your business, your target market, and what a proper logo design and branding solution could do for your company for years and years and years...

Logo Design:
Logos and trademarks make up the most creative international language in the world. An excellent logo can cross barriers and provide your organization with an avenue to deliver your services and products to customers in a uniform way. Without this, you’re effectively flushing your business down the drain.

Every successful company has a distinct personality, just like humans, and a successful brand and logo design are essential to attracting multiple types of personalities and markets. If you’re business doesn’t have these things, it’s time to invest in them. When you embark on this journey into branding, company identity, and logo design, you should be aware of several points of interest:

1. Your logo and branding needs to IDENTIFY your company/product/service.

2. Your logo and branding must DIFFERENTIATE you from the masses.

3. Your logo and branding must COMMUNICATE the value of your services and products.

4. Your logo and branding should ADD VALUE to your company by creating a benchmark for quality and reputation.

5. Your logo and branding must REPRESENT your products and services as valuable things. If your logo isn’t doing these things, choose to update and seek advice from a professional graphic design firm.

Brand Identity:
Branding can be technically defined as a name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of these things intended to identify one particular seller or a group of sellers and to differentiate them from others. This sounds important right? Well it most definitely is. One thing to note is that branding is NOT about getting your target market to choose you over your competition…it’s getting them to see you as the only solution to their needs and problems.

A good brand has the following:
1. The ability to deliver your message clearly
2. Give your company credibility and strength
3. An emotional connection to your target market
4. The ability to motivate buyers and consumers
5. A distinct knack for keeping your target market loyal to your services or product

To succeed in this, you need to understand your target market, your customer’s wants and needs, and the ability to project what they’ll want and need in the future. You can do this by integrating brand strategies through your company at every public contact point.

A strong brand is as valuable as gold as the battle for loyal customers gets more and more intense. It’s important to spend time investing in research, and an effective Creative Firm to help your marketing communications strategies be the best they can be. Your brand and logo are the foundation of your company.

So the next time you even think about making a Microsoft Word clip-art image your logo...STOP.
Contact a real Chicago Graphic Design Company and schedule a meeting.

/// Integraphix, a Creative Agency in Chicago, Illinois