So I recently joined this forum and the main reason was me and my friend want to open some sort of an “Agency” to better present ourselves to possible bigger clients, but the problem is I’m in a sort of creative blockade and can’t think of a name. A LOT of names/domains/social usernames are taken…
Don’t ask us to name your business… you won’t like it
We have had many a fun time throwing out names to people over the years
In all seriousness though … that’s your job. Creativity and coming up with ideas is what we all get paid for. If you can’t come up with a name, maybe it’s not the right time to hang your shingle.
Not asking you to name it , just thought of getting some pointers how did you come up with yours. Did the idea pop into your head or did you spend a lot of time thinking over it?
One pointer I’d offer is pointing away from using the word “Design,” or worse, “Designs” in the name of your business. Talk about something that’s been done, and overdone.
As the wise and wonderful RedKittieKat already asserted, ideation is the business you’re in, and overcoming a “blockade” is something you’ll have to do again and again, so get to it. Brainstorm based on the type of clients you want, what they can get from you, and why they need it. Then entice them to come and get it.
Oh, and one more tip from me on what not to do: don’t just pair up two words because the pairing is unlikely. The world doesn’t need any more Electric Frogs.
I had a similar thing naming my business. Here are a few things to bear in mind;
Avoid Regional Identity - if you want everyone outside your local area to ignore your business, go ahead and call yourselves Montana Design (or whatever)
Acronym - whatever you call your business it may be helpful to consider any acronym that arises from the name; if you call yourself Fraser Barlowe Incorporated that acronym is taken
Email Address - pick a short name; email@example.com would be difficult to fit on a business card
Answering the Phone - imagine yourself answering the phone ‘good morning, Fraser Barlowe Incorporated, how can I help you?’
Adjacent Homonyms - avoid names that sound like something else; Starducks or McBonalds will be a problem
Foreign Languages - if you want access to international markets in the future, ever, try to find out if your name means something rude in another language; the original name for the Rolls Royce ‘Silver Shadow’ was ‘Silver Mist’ until somebody pointed out that the German meaning of ‘mist’ might not be appropriate
You do have a friend/partner don’t you? Can he/she not help out?
Any name will do, in fact, as long as it is not vulgar, confrontational, or too cute. Think Nike, Apple, Beatles, IBM. You patronize them because they provide good products/services, not the other way 'round.
Consider your clients/customers. Don’t name yourself “Anarchist Massacre” if you plan to get government contracts.
in 2013, Gino of Gino’s Restaurant told me he regretted using his name back in 1962.
From your introductory post…
This might be harsh, but I’m going there anyway.
You’re an inexperienced 20-year-old who is studying design, but you don’t want to finish your education. You’ve messed around with Photoshop and Illustrator and, despite any significant experience or education, you’re wanting to open “some sort” of an agency that will attract bigger clients.
Agencies develop creative solutions to business problems for clients, yet you’re stuck on a name for your “some sort” of an agency. Agencies always employ great copywriters, yet you use a grammatically cringe-worthy phrase like, “me and my friend.” Given that you don’t know what kind of agency you want to start suggests you have no business plan.
I could go on, but there’s nothing in what you’ve written that provides any indication that you’re even remotely ready for what you’re proposing to do.
If you want suggestions, stick with your design program, take some business, writing and marketing classes, get some experience as an intern at an agency, graduate, get a job as a beginning designer, learn the ropes, then carefully plan out and launch your own agency with an equally experienced partner who complements your skillset.
Marko, you would be wise to heed Just-B’s advice.
Thanks everyone for the help. Gonna stick with Just-B advice. Just to explain my situation. I don’t feel like the program of the collage is giving me enough knowledge about the subject. So far I learned more on my own than there. I feel like I would learn more by doing than sitting in the classroom.
If anyone has any book recommendations feel free to leave them here
Good on you for exhibiting the maturity and sturdiness you’ll need for this field; which isn’t all that common to see in an online forum post. Keep learning in every way you can, but don’t be too quick to dismiss the value of formal education. Whether or not they’re expressly teaching you “enough,” the experiences on offer will contribute to future success in ways you can’t see now.
When we started our business, we met with a business mentor/advisor in our field. They helped us narrow down a name.
As well as brainstorming all the words or combinations of words that might work, the addition of DESIGN, STUDIO, CREATIVE will add to your busines name.
Avoid words that people cannot spell or pronounce. Unless you have a huge marketing budget that you can educate the public on how to spell and pronounce a made up or unusual word, it’s best to work with something familiar.
Keep it short and sweet.
Sorry for the harsh criticism, but despite that, I am trying to give you my opinion as someone who’s worked in the field for a long time. There are exceptions to what I was saying, but the odds don’t suggest heading down that road as a promising course of action.
I don’t know anything about your design school or college. It might be awful — I just don’t know. However, even in the best schools, classrooms are full of academic instructors who might or might not be in touch with the real business world of design. Even so, it’s a good place to get a wide grasp of the fundamentals that you might not think you need to know but, in reality, you do.
For what it’s worth, once you graduate, you’ll learn more in that first year of working than in all the time you were studying it in school, but without that school education setting the foundation, it’s tough to find a job or even know the basics of design to the point where you’ll be able to apply them successfully.
Learning on your own through experience is great and you’ll be doing that the rest of your life. But in the beginning, learning on one’s own has the built-in problem of the teacher not knowing anything more than the student. The risk in this is learning the wrong lessons and concentrating on the wrong things to the exclusion of those things you don’t encounter and don’t know you need to know or that you just don’t like as much and tend to neglect.
A formal design program, helps avoid these big pitfalls as does the extremely valuable internships that enable a design student to get that practical, hands-on experience from those who really do know what they’re doing.
I do admire your ambition. That alone should take you places (if you don’t take too many shortcuts and inadvertently skip over some of the essentials).