Designing for the Wacky New Frontier


For those folks out there with an entrepreneurial spirit and raging fantasies of being a better boss, please note: it has never been harder to name your business.

In years past, all you needed was a ballpoint pen and a brain. Simply pick a catchy adjective, add a nice noun and you’ve got yourself a respectable name like “Legacy Furniture.” The freedom to be sentimental was yours. Name your new business after your three children, Tim, Manny, and Zach – TMZ Oilfield Services. Done! Or why not title your business after yourself – Andrew Smith Home Renovations. Perfect.

These days, however, it may not be that simple. Not only do you need a name for your business, you’ll have to find a domain name for your website as well. With the advent of everyone man, woman and child having important online business to conduct, the name you need could very well be taken. For example, an industrious ad farmer is putting to good use – someone has even taken is a website specializing in celebrity gossip, and, .net, .org, and .biz are all being used by other Andrew Smith’s for quite a variety of unique purposes.

So what now? Well, other people have faced the same problem and decided to get creative. Adding an “i” , an “e” or a “my” to the name is a classic strategy. Combining names, numbers and random keywords to create domains like or is also quite popular. Goode Pain Management Wraps has chosen to throw in the towel all together and just settle for

boingboing logo

The serious lack of relevant domain names is creating a trend towards ridiculous naming conventions that are quickly being added to our lexicon without second thought. Web 2.0 start-ups are succeeding with bizarre addresses like, and Not only has the Internet sparked a race to digitize everything imaginable, it has also become a contest to expand the English language at a hysterical pace. This concerted effort has successfully made odd business names like ebay and household names.


It seems the formidable challenge for Graphic Designers in this wacky new frontier is not only to remain original with corporate identity but to somehow give practical visual reference to perplexing names like Qoof and Bango. Twenty-six letters in the English alphabet means there are (almost) infinite combinations for naming the next best online business – the real dilemma is in the design.

As we approach the Internet’s colourful wordmark capacity, there might be a need for an edgy new application to tackle this problem. Any ideas?

  • Drew

    Great post.
    I’ve marveled at how easy it is for me to remember names like Joost, Skype, Wii and Twitter as well as what their respective services are.

    Maybe it’s a clever use of the principle that the weirder it is, the easier it is to remember, like those helpers for memorizing grocery lists.

    I think it’s only natural to eventually start adapting non-english words (or spelling) into the names.