How Professionals Create Names: Naming by Numbers

By Maria Cypher

May 26, 2011

People often ask us how we come up with names. Are they computer generated? Do we sit around, drinking wine, jotting down thoughts on cocktail napkins? Or, maybe we shuffle Scrabble tiles around till we find that perfect combination of letters?

Once upon a time, these approaches might have worked, but these days namers use a highly methodical process and create an enormous pool of names. This is due to the huge number of hurdles faced by potential naming candidates. It is not enough to be appealing, strategic and distinctive. A name also has to be legally available, sometimes in many countries. It also has to be intuitive to pronounce and spell, and devoid of negative meaning or associations in various languages. Sometimes, an exact domain name is needed.

For all these reasons, creating a new name today is an exhaustive effort.  Catchword typically creates over 2000 names per project!  As creative lead here, this keeps me pretty busy.  But, I’ll be blogging more about the naming process and naming styles over the next few weeks.

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