“An idea can come from anywhere, but getting buy in and seeing it through is tough. In fact, naming can be one of the hardest parts of a branding project.”

From a naming handbook by Wolff Olins. Via @gradiate.

A naming handbook

These naming specialists are listed at the end.

With a few relevant books.

Another that seems worth picking up.

Some online pieces.

And when you have your shortlist, check availability.


February 24, 2014


Thanks for all the links, David. You read my mind. Naming seems like it would be so simple but it’s truly the most difficult for me. I appreciate all these resources in one place.

Tell me about it. After researching names two years ago when I was starting my own business, I felt confident in the name I chose. Three months ago, I received a cease and desist from a much larger firm in CA. After speaking with two trademark attorneys, I’ve learned a lot. Now it’s taken over a month to figure out a new name. We seven started picking random words. Most were taken. It is very difficult to find a unique and compelling name for our “creative” business. Thx for the resources.

I’m stuck in the naming land at the moment, and while I’m definitely not into ‘New Dawn Graphics’ type of names, I’m really struggling with the simple alternative of just using my name because my last name is a nightmare to spell. Do I add something to my name? Or do I just use the first name? Would a first name only be weird? Or narcissistic somehow?

A domain might be tricky, Daria, but it’s not weird at all. A big plus with your personal name — you know it won’t grate on you after a while. With your last name, you could always go for the phonetic approach and spell it as it sounds.

Thanks David. Phonetic approach would still sound too tricky, I think I’ll stick with my first name so. I already have a .com domain with my full name, so I figured this one would be on an .ie domain and one can point to the other.

No worries. Another idea is to use the .com you have, while still branding yourself as Daria. I suppose that’ll depend on how many people you think will be typing your URL into an address bar, rather than clicking a link in an email, for example.

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