The true love between naming and design
The love between a name and design is pure as can be. It’s unconditional, supportive and empowering. They complement each other, make each other stronger and won’t succeed in life without one another.
One of our clients once asked: ‘After a long internal debate, we’ve decided to go with the other name. We know you’ve finished everything, but could you please adapt the name in the logo?’
If only love was that simple. But it isn’t. One of my favorite creative directors, Huber, and I talk about what changes in design when you change the name. And unfortunately, it’s everything.
You create a world for your audiences. A world of letters and shapes, tone and typeface that become one. Where everything comes together. The name evokes the essence. It tells the smallest story possible. Design makes sure the name imparts the right context. It creates balance. It says what the name can’t say.
Because, what you communicate in the name, you don’t have to communicate in design. Or, I quote Huber: ‘The notes you play with your left hand on the piano, you don’t have to play with your right hand.’ Not only is that a beautiful quote, it’s also true.
If the name sounds young and playful, it could deliver more authority by giving it a more serious logo. If the name is corporate and serious, design can loosen it up. Strong names don’t need an expressive logo, an acronym needs a logo that tells a story. Design brings the name to life. It makes the name whole.
This doesn’t only count for the final and selected name to travel through the real world, but also during the naming process. A name needs a small world when presented. A mood board, an image, an application, a color. A hat. To create the right context and to get an idea of how it could work in real life.
The combination needs to be right and work for the future. You need a rich base, a strong strategy you thought about. A purpose that serves you for the future. Values that aren’t a trend but truly suit you for the long term. You basically create a name for life and a logo for a very long time.
But don’t worry, you’ve got the chance to talk about the themes and trends of today in for example advertising, taglines and copy. There are enough short-term tools at hand to be sharp when you need and want to.
Long story short. If you change the name, the world collapses. You often need to start over to create and experience that same world. The relationship between the name and design is not just a fling, it’s true love. They belong together. If something happens to one, the other is affected too.
By the way, this doesn’t only apply to big corporates and big budgets. This is evenly, if not more, important for start-ups, scale-ups and smaller companies. If you want this relationship to work, you need to create the right balance.