What’s In a Name? Part II

December 18, 2014

shooting videos - drifter and the gypsy blog
Earlier this week, I outlined a few of my tips for choosing a dynamic name for your business. I couldn’t fit all my tips in one post, so I’m back here today with Part II (as well as a personal story about my own blog name).

6. Consider the letterforms.

This tip comes from more of a graphic design standpoint, but consider the letterforms that make up your name. Can they easily be turned into a logo? The Fedex and Amazon.com logos are great examples of logos that have clever hidden meanings. (More logo inspiration here.)

7. Don’t overthink it.

I don’t think I can emphasize this enough. I am a professional over-thinker who sweats the small stuff. That’s just my nature and I think that a lot of creative entrepreneurs are wired the same way as I am. Last quarter at SCAD, I had a project for my Graphic Design class where I had to name and brand a mock business. When my professor read my brand brief, his first reaction was I got WAY too conceptual in my choice of name and it was bound to sail right over people’s oblivious heads. All the hours, days, WEEKS I spent agonizing over a name for a company that wasn’t even REAL was all for naught. Sure, a name is important. But by the end of the day, you CAN make most names work for your business with successful branding. There are a lot of companies whose names don’t make sense but we’re so used to them that we don’t question the logic of the name. For example, have you ever stopped and wondered what hulu means? What about zynga?

8. Choose a name that stands the test of time.

Don’t use a name/word that’s trendy or ‘in’ at the moment. Ask yourself if the word will be just as popular 5-10 years down the road. For example, the word ‘hustle’ is popular right now. But what happens if in 10 years ‘hustle’ is equivalent to groovy? When in doubt, go with something that’s timeless.

And now for my story: People often ask me where I get ‘Drifter & the Gypsy’ from. I started this blog in 2008, when I was 14 and had just started high school. As with most teenagers of that age, I felt a bit lost and unsure of where true passion lay. I felt like a drifter. I wanted another word that would make an alliteration. That led me to come up with ‘gypsy.’ bada bing bada boom. Originally my blog was The Drifter and the Gypsy, but I felt like the first ‘The’ made the name too long, so two years ago (when I switched blogging platforms), I simplified the name to Drifter & the Gypsy. If I had to start alllll over, I’d probably pick a shorter name, but I was only 14 when I named my blog and I didn’t know I’d still be blogging all these years later. I’ve gone through much self-hate over the name Drifter & the Gypsy. (Yes that’s right: For a while I didn’t even like my OWN blog name). But over the past few months, people have told me how much they love the name Drifter & the Gypsy, which really surprised me (in a good way, of course). Case in point? I am my own worst critic. We are all are own worst critics. So let’s not be too hard on ourselves, m’kay?

Just remember, you can’t name yourself, but you CAN name your business. So make it a good one (to avoid having to rename your business!), but don’t stress out about it toooo much. There are very successful companies that break some of these rules, so don’t think you have to follow everything to a T. Just pick a name and let good branding do the rest.

If you have a blog/personal business, did you have a lot of trouble coming up with a name? Or perhaps you have a funny story of how your name came about? I shared my story, now it’s time for you to share yours!

Did you miss the first part of this series? Click here to read Part I.

Photograph by Katrina

Leave a Comment

  • oh my goodness girl! i totally relate to parts of your story about naming your blog – specifically hating your own blog name! when i started my blog/shop 2 years ago it was with a friend, and we had a heck of a time picking a name. couldnt agree on anything. and finally we found one that we both agreed on – Larkspur. but once my friend pulled out of the business and the blog became more about me i started to friggen hate the name! some days i still do. cause if it had just been me from the start, I would have definitely picked a different name. I have an on going list of names I’d like to change it to, but I get far too scared because I’m known as Larkspur now and I hate the idea of changing it and confusing people.
    Anyways, I’m okay with the name right now. And I’m having my header and logo redone so thats making me feel better about the name, cause it looks prettier haha!

    Thanks for sharing your story!

    • Thanks so much for sharing your story, Alex! I remember when you started your blog/shop with your friend. Honestly, I love the name Larkspur, which again holds testimony to the fact that we are ALL our own worst critics. I toyed around with changing the name of my blog a while back too, but I got too scared of confusing people since they knew me as Drifter & the Gypsy for so long. I can’t wait to see your new header and logo dear. I’m sure it will look gorgeous! xx

  • Love hearing the story behind your blog name! I have always loved Drifter & The Gypsy. It sounds like a band name too, which is a good thing 🙂 I’m still pretty happy with Happiness Is.. but it’s pretty common and I think there’s another blog out there with the same name… grrr. But I was first, ha. xo

  • I love the name of your blog, always have. Off topic– what manufacturer is your drafting table made by? I’m on the hunt and I like the looks of yours.

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