At A Hundred Monkeys we make every word count. From naming to brand messaging, our expertise is distillation.
We believe human attention is a resource worth earning and respecting. We use language to draw people in and explain why they might want to stick around.
We are a Berkeley, California-based naming and writing studio. Since 1990, we’ve kept busy working with passionate people who can embrace creativity without being assholes. So far, so good.
EERO was the first wireless router to bring design sensibilities to setting up and using a Wi-Fi network. The name Eero, inspired by the life and work of architect and designer Eero Saarinen, positions the product as an extension of the hearth and home.
We worked with the founding team to develop a name for the company that could also work as the name of their product. Years later, we worked with their marketing team to develop a strategic naming architecture for their expanding product line.
Their placeholder name when they first came to us had trademark challenges. It also didn’t quite work with their positioning. We conducted preliminary trademark screening in the U.S. and the deeper legal clearance was conducted by their legal counsel.
While it was not a driving factor in our process, they were able to acquire eero.com
If given the right conditions, the unexpected always seems to find a way. In this case? The CEO happened to attend elementary school in a building designed by none other than Saarinen himself.
ATMOS is environmental. It places you at the scene and makes you swear you’re really there. The name is atmospheric for a reason. Dolby wanted to move past the linear and logical system that brought us 5.1, 7.1, and 10.1 to a system where sound could come from anywhere—just like the real world. Our job was to name that feeling.
We worked with Dolby’s senior leadership team in San Francisco to position and name the strategic move away from their long-standing X.1 naming architecture.
Names were screened domestically and internationally.
We took 3 names into deep legal screening with Dolby’s trademark counsel. Atmos was the top contender at Dolby and A Hundred Monkeys.
A playful contradiction in terms, INSIDE WEATHER asks interesting questions: If being inside is supposed to protect you from the elements, what sorts of weather patterns exist indoors? Can a bedroom be dark and stormy? What makes a living room feel bright and sunny? The name uses weather to talk about the environment and mood you can create indoors with smart, stylish furniture.
We worked with the founding team to develop a name for their new furniture business that offered the variety and choice of made-to-order with the timelines of, say, Amazon.
Four names went into legal screening with their counsel. The team prioritized two names which both cleared.
Longer names always make for easier URL acquisition.
Inside Weather was a dark horse. It was well received initially but barely snuck into contenders. The name picked up steam from there and was the top choice going into their final legal checks.
GRADIENT is the answer to the window AC units of yesteryear: the thunderous, leaky, inefficient eyesores that dot the skies of every major city. Beyond heating and cooling, Gradient is about holistic comfort. It’s a name that captures the flexibility and fluidity of this low-carbon AC unit, which blends into its environment as easily as a window sill.
We interviewed their CEO, CTO, and Head of Product to understand the impact of this system on an individual’s environment, and the environment. While there was still some love for the original name (TREAU—or, Thermodynamics Rules Everything Around Us), we delivered the final name after just one round of naming.
We conducted a preliminary trademark screening in the US, and Gradient came back with only minor potential conflicts. After deeper legal clearance, they were able to move forward with registration.
URL wasn’t a driver of the project, and the team was open to prefixes and suffixes. They were able to secure gradientcomfort.com.
Initially, Gradient wasn’t a frontrunner—but after sitting with it for a few weeks, they couldn’t imagine any other name. A good legal screening and some positive peer feedback helped seal the deal.
Who do we work with?
We aren’t going to regale you with an exhaustive list of everyone we’ve had a meeting with since 1990. We’ll keep it short. What matters most to us is doing interesting work with good people.
This is a group of companies big and small where there’s mutual respect and a solid track record of collaboration.
- Designer Fund