From naming your business to designing its logo. A short story.

A little update on the subject: the logo for Smiling Surface as changed since. It’s now a sexy happy S. 

Your logo is your business main character accompanied by your company name. It’s that icon, shape or typographic element or both, that will constantly be present on all your business communications. It takes time with some investments to become Apple or Nike where they are only recognize now by their logo.

You developed your product or service with the desire to solve a problem. It’s likely that you’ve also pondered on an official company name.

Naming a product, a service or a company can be a challenge. Branding legend Marty Neumeier says that good product names have seven characteristics. I believe those qualities are also applicable to business names. Now ask yourself.

Is my name:
Easy to spell and pronounce?
Is the domain name available?

Researching your industry
Don’t you want your own style, colours, typography, and branding to be different than your competitors? I know it’s sounds obvious but we often dismiss the value of analyzing the competition’s visual approach. Because it’s where your business will be cohabiting. Designers research their client’s competition before sketching any idea.

You found some names
Now that you have a few names, test them out. You might be set on a favourite name but you need some honest feedback. Often we are too close to the subject. Ask all your key players and listen to their comments. You never know what can bloom from it.

How I discovered my business name?
Another short story.

Smiling Surface came to life after reading “Famous Brand” and some soul searching. One element was constantly present. It’s that common response when presenting design work and noticing the client’s reactions. Some were expressive, talkative, some were quietly analyzing and some were smiling at the ideas proposed. In the end it was that conclusive smile of satisfaction.

Now for the word surface. An obvious aspect taken for granted is that without a support design doesn’t exist. From that piece of paper, to the web, to the cool t-shirt you wear on weekends, the surfaces are endless. Without an applied surface design has nowhere to live and no audience.

How I came up with the Smiling Surface logo?
Combining the smile (the human element) with the exclamation point (the typographic element) it created a simple logo/icon that can live on any surface.

You may wonder why I chose the exclamation point. It’s the only punctuation mark that creates an impact to a sentence. Your message needs to speak creatively to our audience. Your product or service need to make an impact.

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