It’s been two years since I first reported on the all-consonant naming trend. Since then we’ve seen a persistent consonantal drift in the names of fashion brands, restaurants, and retailers, often shouted out in ALL CAPS. Here are four additions to the list.
BNJMN is “a paintbrush-wielding bot created by two students at the Basel Academy of Art and Design,” according to a story in Co.Design. The name is pronounced “Benjamin,” and I was surprised to learn it had no relation to the paint company Benjamin Moore (which does sell a product called ben—all lower case). I emailed the creators of BNJMN and asked them about the name; here’s Travis Purrington’s reply in full (the ellipses are his):
BNJMN’s name evolved with his construction and development...
During the beginning of the naming process we originally were brainstorming far and wide for clever acronyms (like everyone) or heavy tech names (THX 1138, etc).
But in the end BNJMN was a warm/inviting sounding name that seemed a nice contrast to his sleek hard-edged body
(plus it looked good on paper and was easy to pronounce without vowels)
It seemed like a good match to the personality of his programming once we got him up and running...so it stuck.
Simple, non-threatening, easy going, expressive...that's BNJMN.
Purrington did not say how many Benjamins BNJMN will set you back.
Perfume is a distillation of essences, so I suppose it’s logical for a perfume name to eliminate a few letters. And HYLNDS (“Aromatic Epics”) does have a vocalized Y, so it isn’t a complete consonant brick.
Refinery29, a design/lifestyle site, reports that HYLNDS was inspired by “the rolling hills and dramatic history of ancient medieval cultures.” And yet the aromas of peat, goat, and sweat are strangely absent from the three HYLNDS fragrances, which go for $180 per 50ml bottle: they’re called Bitter Rose, Broken Spear (which smells of “smelted iron, bitter rose,” and “melancholy thistle”); Isle Ryder (“resinous Norway spruce and fir cones with narcotic jasmine, island wildflowers, honeyed mead and bulrush straw”); and Pale Grey Mountain, Small Black Lake, (“a chilling air of wood, water, stone, and shrubs”). Each fragrance has HYLNDS, MDLNDS, and LWLNDS notes. Do I need to tell you that the company behind HYLNDS is “an indie Brooklyn perfumer” and that the product can be found at “stockists,” that Britishism beloved of pretentious Yank hipsters? No, probably not.
Melancholy thistle, indeed.
How to pronounce frrry? “Fry” with a lavishly trilled r? “Furry”?
No and no, according to the New York-based accessories e-tailer Roztayger:
The Frrry collection (pronounced ferry) is all about construction. Designed and made in The Netherlands using vegetable tanned Italian leather, creator Ferry Cornelis Gerardus Meewisse founded the line in 2002 after passing exams for 3D design at the Arnhem Academy of Arts.
Yes, that dangling phrase made me wince a little—Mr. Meewisse isn’t made of vegetable-tanned leather, as far as we know—but my bigger point is: ferry? Why not just spell it that way? “Ferry” would be an excellent name for handbags that ferry your stuff around. (Gorgeously, I must add: this style is fabulous, and not too exorbitant, either.)
It only stands to reason that you can find frrry products at UNDSCVRD.
Finally: PYMNTS. It’s “what’s next in payments,” especially if you are Eliza Doolittle.
BNJMN "a warm/inviting sounding name?" "Easy to pronounce without vowels?" Are you KIDDING me? Hint: Any word without vowels is going to be difficult to pronounce as written. HYLNDS, for example? That's one syllable, and no florid marketing copy will convince me otherwise.
Posted by: Jessica | May 15, 2013 at 07:47 AM
To be fair, as consonant bricks go BNJMN is relatively warm and inviting. Compare, say, XQKHZ.
Posted by: empty | May 15, 2013 at 04:07 PM