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September 25, 2007


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Very interesting. I am surprised not to be horrified on the trademark protection front. For the most part, I can't even begin to guess what most of these companies do based on their names, so I think few would be refused registration on descriptiveness grounds, if that were a goal. Least favorite of the bunch is probably Extreme Reality as "extreme" is very tired, IMHO. Favorites: Definitely Cake Financial and Mint. Maybe I like the unexpected juxtaposition of food and finance?

Jessica: I like Mint, too--its logo depicts mint leaves and its tagline is "Refreshing Money Management," which is nice. And of course "mint" has the additional meaning of "a place where money is produced."

Ha! I agree, Cake is a great name. It came from those clever gals over at Eat My Words, the food-naming specialists, which is kinda funny.


I tried to name that company earlier this spring. Apparently, before they hired her, the Cakesters were looking at Alexandra's namer party pics and found me there. I must have looked real name-y or something (The Gandalf look helps a lot in creative work).

However, I didn't come up with anything as cool as Cake, and they eventually broke down and hired Eat My Words, who did come up with something that cool, so all props to Alexandra for that great solution.

I also wanted to say, about Xobni, that you should not assume that the hip graphic designer actually knew what that diacritical mark meant. Remember Blak, Coca-Cola's coke-and-coffee mix breakfast drink (Yum!)? It had a long vowel symbol over the "a". They couldn't have meant it to be "Blake", could they?

Maybe it's just a graphic motif now in this QWERTY/ASCII world.

update: Oh, wait, it gets better! On all of the official Coke sites, Blak is capitalized BlaK. Oooh! Terminal caps! I've never tried to sell those. Maybe I'll try that on the project I'm working on today...


Of course, throughout most of the rest of the Google trail for BlaK, nobody else capitalizes it the way they want. This is a familiar problem to me, after my year at marchFIRST. Heads up there, c'eed!

Mark: Thanks for cluing me in about Eat My Words! Interesting way to diversify, eh? Perhaps they were inspired by Tomato Bank, which I've written about here: http://nancyfriedman.typepad.com/away_with_words/2007/01/they_say_tomato.html. What's next, an insurance company called Fries With That?

As for the long-vowel symbol: D'oh! I should have known better than to assume a designer would make that connection. I myself have had designers delete my commas and change lower-case words to capitals "because it looks better that way."

BlaK update #2: Seems like they started out with the straight long vowel mark, but have since changed to a wavy line. They must have gotten tired of hearing the copywriters and editors calling it Blake, because at some point in the product's short history, they changed the mark, so now it's a wavy line that looks like it was clipped from the swoopy Coca-Cola logo!



Check it out - the early "new product" stories feature the straight line, but the updated official Coke sites all have the wavy line!

Literate consumer outrage in action!

Thanks for the link to the demythologizing explanation of poor Marie Antoinette's unquote. (I mean, she had to deal with spiders in her hair, the woman has suffered enough.)

But while we're straightening out cake through history, we should also note that "You can't have your cake and eat it too" is just plain wrong: you can perfectly well have your cake, then eat it. The original phrase is "You can't eat your cake and have it too," which really IS impossible. I forget how it got turned on its head.

And speaking of which (I don't expend much effort on segue construction), Engels never said "Marx stood Hegel on his head," aNOTHer politically generated, Marie Antoinette-like misquote. He said, "Marx found Hegel standing on his head and righted him."

So there, judgment of history, please try to pay more attention to detail. Meanwhile, thank you for your rush work on the George Bush administration. There's still enough time to remove him beFORE he pardons each and every accomplice and war criminal.


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