Back in the day, Ken Segall helped create Apple's Think Different campaign
and helped name the iMac
. More recently he worked on JC Penney's Yours Truly
, commercial, before JCP ousted Ron Johnson as its CEO. He writes a sharp, entertaining blog called Ken Segall's Observatory
, where he offers opinions on advertising and design geekery. His take on Ron Johnson's failure
is interesting, as is this post
on what it takes for an advertisement to stand out in a crowd. He calls attention to surprisingly decent ads from Microsoft
, critiques terrible ads (from Microsoft
and JC Penney
and even Apple
, and comments on whether skeuomorphism has its advantages
. He's also fond
of discussing product names
. Give this one a skip if advertising gives you hives, but for those of you who're interested in things like this Segall's blog is especially choice stuff.
posted by Rory Marinich
on May 3, 2013 -
A good naming scheme
is scalable, unique, and easy to remember. The purpose of these naming schemes is to name networked servers, wireless access points or client computers, but it can also be used to name projects, products, variables, streets, pets, kids, or any other project where unique names and rememberable names are required.
posted by TangerineGurl
on Oct 24, 2012 -
Thousands of new products and businesses every year need names. The creation of these names, is a business in itself, and is usually a pretty secretive process. But Igor
, a naming and branding agency, offers a surprisingly detailed and illuminating primer on the naming game. Igor describes how they do it
and who they’ve done it for
. Igor’s naming taxonomy charts
for various products (including one for the company names of naming companies
) help illustrate the research portion of the process. Check out: studies of successful names like Pepperidge Farm’s cookie names
, and why AT&T Canada’s name change to Allstream was a bad idea
. And don’t miss Igor’s two blogs (metablogged here
): Snark Hunting
, “all about naming and branding in popular culture” and Wordlab
, on “naming and branding issues.” For fun, try Wordlab’s own tongue-in-cheek naming tools
, like the Drug-o-matic drug name generator, Name Your Band, and the Morpheme generator.
posted by beagle
on Sep 7, 2006 -
The name "Firebird"
was chosen by Mozilla to rename their Phoenix
product. However, Firebird is also the name of a popular and long-standing open-source database
project -- and the Mozilla organization was clearly aware
of this naming conflict before making their decision. Some
feel that such an action, within the context of the open-source community, is unfair and constitutes bad etiquette, at the least. The discussion is ongoing
, but LinuxWorld reports that the Mozilla organization has deleted recent message-board comments that criticized their decision.
posted by TreeHugger
on Apr 16, 2003 -
The Name Game
Valley Creek Farms "solicits help from clever people each year to help name their young horses." If you consider yourself a gifted wordsmith with a knack for penning equine monikers that will get the bugs
a buzzin' and make the farrier
smile, this is your chance to take the reins. But it's not easy
. The rules are extensive
and your choice may already be taken
. But with luck, you may one day hear your literary masterpiece
of 18 letters or less roll off the caller's tongue and become part of thoroughbred history
posted by snez
on Feb 27, 2003 -
What's with that tacky ass name?
A coffee shop
which opened in a rather prominent area of the city in which I reside has started a little controversy here. Turns out the shop's name has created a fair amount of controversy elsewhere
. How long until the f-word shows up in prominent signage across America? Meantime, what's the wildest or tackiest name for a business you've ever heard? Any ideas for potential businesses with "cuss" word-oriented names? Is there a possible trend in there somewhere?
posted by raysmj
on Feb 24, 2003 -
KPMG Consulting is now BearingPoint
"Employees briefly rallied behind the chief executive's surname, Blazer, but that's also the name of a Chevrolet sport-utility vehicle. The name BearingPoint is based on navigational terms that signify 'setting a direction to an end point,' the company said." It seems like this one's going to last a bit longer than Monday
posted by dayvin
on Oct 3, 2002 -
It's big, it's bad, and it's coming your way. Beware Bonnie! No, no, wait. Hide from Hanna! Hmm, nope. Run from Rene! Geez, this naming thing
isn't easy. How do you name a tropical storm
? Should the name be masculine or feminine? Should it roll off the tongue with ease or be a mouthful? Are there some names you can't use
? If a tropical storm was closing in on your neighborhood, what would you
posted by debralee
on Sep 12, 2002 -
First, National Airport was renamed for him. Then, the International Trade Center in downtown DC was christened in his honor.
Now the powers that be have named a new naval aircraft carrier the USS Reagan.
I realize people are trying to honor the old bastard. But doesn't this seem inappropriate (even rude) considering he's not quite dead yet? Or is Alzheimer's close enough? *sheesh*
posted by ratbastard
on Mar 5, 2001 -
San Francisco Muni to consider naming stations after advertisers.
If you've been in SF (or any major US city) recently, you've probably noticed the buses covered with ads inside and out, the two stadiums named after corporations (all US stadiums seem to be now), and subway platforms coated in billboards. Now, they're considering selling the names of each station off to the highest bidder. Is this going too far or should a city do anything to make a buck? (I'm reminded of the book Generation X where the author jokes about rampant advertising, and how one day you'll ask your friend what time it is, and he'll simply say "Pepsi")
posted by mathowie
on Jan 23, 2001 -
How you say
Duking it out with Accenture for the title of most disagreeable computer-generated faux-English corporate nomenclature de la semaine
, a company with the perfectly good name Productivity Works has gone and screwed it up by renaming itself isSound
. "Because the future
is listening," the homepage tells us. What it's listening to is all of us stammering to pronounce an unnatural string of letters. In related news, despite admitting it still works, isSound isShitcanning itsScreenReader, pwWebSpeak
posted by joeclark
on Jan 3, 2001 -
Now this is really stupid.
14-year-old Francis Di Masi's petition to have his name legally changed to "Frank" because he gets teased mercilessly in school about it was rejected. The judge said in his decision that "Learning how to deal with these taunts [is] part of growing up."
My first name, family name and nicknames have always given other people trouble when it comes to spelling and pronounciation, so I know what it's like to grow up getting name-related grief every single day of your life; "tedious" doesn't even begin
to describe it.
So while I don't think "Francis" is altogether a bad name
, why shouldn't the kid get to legally call himself whatever he wants? I mean, if some moron can change his name to DotComGuy without a hitch, why not Frank?
posted by lia
on May 31, 2000 -