Name Awards Professional Commentary on Company Names, Product Brands and Business Names

Category Archives: Logos

This blog continued on Brighter Naming

Thanks for all your support and feedback over the years – but people really don’t seem to care about giving awards for names and often think this site is for naming your award or presentation.

So now it is closed and archived for ever.

#1pocetnaBut the intent of discussing, cheering and jeering about names continues – as the News Blog on Brighter Naming.

Please join Athol Foden, the Namiac, over there.


Elio is a great name for cool new little US car

EliocarWhen I look up Elio in Wikipedia, I get some Italian rock singer. When I look up Elio in a Google Search, most paths lead to Elio Motors, the exciting new 3 wheeler car company starting production as we speak in Louisiana.

Of course, by now I have learned that Elio is the last name of the founder, and not only some clever linguistic derivation of a three syllable word using only four letters of the alphabet. Paul Elio is taking some big hints from Elon Musk (of Tesla Motors fame), but on the other end of the automobile spectrum.

An impressive new car company deserves a great new name (done) plus a great new logo with witch to “badge” their designs. What do you think of their logo and tagline?



Pretty good job I think, though if I want to be super-critical I could say the color scheme and sharp shapes of the E give it a slight Arabic origin look – but heck, most people won’t analyze it that carefully. Also, lots of what they say imply a “green” car, though they never come out and say that since it is a conventional gas powered car – albeit one that can go 600+miles on a 8 gallon tankful.

Stay tuned to see what model names (hopefully) rather than numbers they assign their first cute little family of three-wheelers.


© 2013 – All rights reserved –


Zulily is a great new name on an offensive welcome site

zulilyAfter all these years as a professional namer, and many years before that as an obsessed amateur, it is not often I find a new name style out there, but today I was surprised to read about Zulily, which is apparently a very popular site.

Firstly, if you are considering how to pronounce the name, realize that also leads to They also own but it does not go anywhere, and is held by some interloper from Canada who tries to catch their traffic. Luckily my faithful Ghostery ad blocking software stop their redirection of my browser.

In addition to their interesting name, the good news is they have a very specific tagline that helps position them to novices, and I am sure they are getting a lot of referral traffic, in addition to good publicity.  The bad news is I can’t tell you much more as they don’t let you view who they are and what they do without you first registering (though you can partially see the home page around their offensive sign in first box). And like anyone with online experience, you have to be nuts to join a site without first knowing what they are about – heck they could be another Romanian site collecting spam and personal data – so be very careful with any such sites.

© 2013 – All rights reserved –

Red Hat names sure get your attention

RedHatLogoWhen the Unix Open Source movement started with Linx way back when, I immediately noticed all the companies springing up to commercialize it. That in itself was an interesting idea because how do you make money off “free” software was a big question in those days. Even then, before I transitioned into being a naming professional full time I noticed the names. Without doing some research I can’t tell what the others were, or even if they have survived. But I can tell you I remembered the name Red Hat from the outset, and it continues to jump out at me every time I see the name.

Interestingly enough, I have not seen (or noticed) the logo as much but I do have a vague recollection of once upon a time wondering why some guy was ambling around a trade show in a big trench coat and a red hat. This name is so simple, so evocative and so unusual, it really stands well by itself.

RedHatSocietyLogoCompare that with the Red Hat Society and their use of the name and logo. I had never heard of this name and had to research it when I did first encounter it. Of course, I am not a lady, and even if I was I am not sure I would have the personality to dress up to the hilt in red and purple to go to lunch with other ladies. But what do I know. You will recognize them at their own table somewhere someday, if you haven’t already, as they now they claim to be the world’s largest ladies social group. And yes, they wear big hats just like in their logo – and typically dress in red and purple too.

© 2013 – All rights reserved –

Discover IT makes me want to scratch and itch.

DiscoverITWhen your name is relatively long, like in Discover, you surely do want a short second name for a product descriptor. But why something as lifeless as “it” unless you mean Information Technology – and we know that is not your game?

Imagine how much fun they could have with the word itch instead? Would solve everyone’s itch to go shop till they drop. Or at least something else with some character or image or motion or action or life or..

Great color, graphics and nice use of depth make for a good choice of imagery here. In fact, we may even get used to it (pun intended) especially if we ever see or know someone who actually has a Discover card.

© 2013 – All rights reserved –

In the right context, TED is a great name.

Years ago I wrote about the stupidity of United Airlines launching their low-cost airline subsidiary with the dumb name of Ted. There sure wasn’t anything friendly or cute about the name or logo usage… and, in fact, the whole endeavor was soon grounded.

Today, however, a great series of conferences that star eminent speakers and experts in their respective fields, has sprung up and it too is called TED. This stands for Technology, Education and Design…. which is rather long and boring. And while I usually shy away from initials as they are so hard to brand and own, the TED conferences have imbued their’s with a great brand personality – which in turn has led to a big following that helps spread the brand.

And as usually happens with great names, people no longer stop and think about what the name means in a literal language sense. They just tell their friends to go to TED or to watch one of the many speeches from eminent speakers on a wide range of subjects. They will surely inspire and motivate you, or at least move you and entertain you. They have revived the lost art of great public speaking – in most cases with out props or slides.


© 2012 – All rights reserved –

Indians in the Hen House?

Recently I have had cause to be around people who love talking about having their on chickens. And, coincidentally, in business I have had some dealings related to Indian artifacts. So it is probably no surprise that this little logo at the bottom of a very technical cloud computing website should catch my eye.

To me this little incident illustrates three key points about naming  products:

1- Some people are very visual and will never relate to a name until they see it with full graphics treatment.

2- Some ideas or words that portray an invisible entity (like a software incubator) can have their idea and concept greatly enforced with some related analogous little graphics.

3- Product names can have logos too (even slogans or taglines). Really helps cut through the noise.

As a professional namer, writer and linguist who cannot draw or design hardly anything, I wish it wasn’t the case. But here today I confess that some names only catch on when they are “seen in lights”.

And so I commend the Apache Software Foundation for this little branding example. Makes you wonder if little chicks might hatch in a future release before the FireFox gets them.


© 2012 – All rights reserved –

Does Big Ass Fans say it all?

In their print ads, this company starts by saying “Ok, maybe our name no longer says it all.”  But later they conclude it does. After all these years I am sure the name is not as edgy in their industry as it used to be. But somewhere there once was a smart alec with a big ego to come up with and endorse such a name.

Interestingly enough though, they have a variety of very cool (pun intended) names for their different product lines, including Haiku, Sweat Bee, Powerfoil, ISIS, Yellow Jacket, AirGo, Element, etc.

So in my books they win a big award for product naming – especially as they have properly trademarked most of their product names. But the name Big Ass Fans with a tail wagging mule leaves me cold. Time for them to get a cool company name, don’t you think?


© 2012 – All rights reserved –

Living up to a Plain Name

When you are the only bicycle shop in town, and your town has the lovely name of Mariposa, why not simply call your business Mariposa Bicycles? And if you rent and sell the latest in mountain bikes, electric bikes, fold up bikes, what modern logo are you looking for?

Well a penny farthing of course, being ridden by a very colorful butterfly (since Mariposa is the Spanish word for butterfly).  This is what I really like in a logo – a dramatic attention getter when the name doesn’t do that for you. And this logo and their signage really stand out in a town where there are butterfly symbols and signs everywhere.

Accidentally or otherwise, this business is taking advantage of their first mover advantage. Imagine how hard it will be to brand and establish the second bike shop in town.

For your on the go camera, think GoPro

After Cisco pulled the plug on their Flip phone, I thought we were back to shopping the Japanese brands to find exciting new cameras. But then from Half Moon Bay, on the sleepy coast of Silicon Valley, comes Woodward labs and their GoPro.  Wow. For first time ever I watched the complete home page video on any website.. and it is over 5 minutes long.

They really are changing the way we see the world. Now armchair warmers can even see the fantastic sites enjoyed by action sports nuts around the world. In a sense a new HD camera is nothing new. Nor are rugged video cameras. Or ones with remote controls. Or ones with anti-jitter that are waterproof. But somehow no one had put it all together before at the right place at the right time.

On top of that..  a simple English registered trademark name that is an exhortation: Go Pro.   Wow.  Love it. Sure wish my days of windsurfing were not over. Maybe on my sailboat? … Oh heck.. just put it on my birthday list.. I’ll climb trees with it on my hat!