A lot of published information guides make you feel like a moron. There are books For Dummies and guides for Complete Idiots. These books all tend to strike a similar demeaning tone that alienates more than welcomes. So when the folks at Feynman Labs came to us seeking a name before launching, we wanted to differentiate them from the noise in the guide publishing market with a positive story and direction.
Their placeholder name wasn’t half bad. It was a reference to legendary physicist and eccentric, Richard Feynman and spoke to unconventional education – an avid bongo player, Feynman was far from conventional and so were these guys.
Feynman Labs believes in practical knowledge. They wanted to create an online space for the practical information that is often overlooked and the publishing market missed. Akin to a library’s reference desk, their online platform provides everyday knowledge like how to set up an IRA or shingle a roof – all the stuff your parents forgot to mention and the education system failed to teach. Feynman Labs needed to distill this large concept into a name.
Companies like Feynman Labs are often trying to create the category as they step into it. And this hybrid category, positioned somewhere between education and a reference guide, didn’t exist yet. So they called us in for some objective help and a process.
Tell the story of practical knowledge
Create a sense of place
We wanted to tell as much of their story in the name as we could. But what type of name – what symbolism – could get across this idea of iterative everyday knowledge? After a couple rounds of naming we arrived at Holloway.
Holloway, a sunken road worn by age and travel, was a great avenue to tell about the process of acquiring knowledge. The metaphor suggested that others have walked down this well-trodden path and have first-hand experience. Want to know how to refinance a house? Many have taken this road before and have the knowledge on how to do it. Holloway would be the place to locate that knowledge.
In such a new and nebulous field, we also wanted to create a sense of space. Holloway would situate the audience in a physical location, imparting the idea of stability and nature in our increasingly digital-heavy world of AI and cryptocurrency.
The name’s natural avenues into identity design was the cherry on top. A simple Google image search for “Holloway” turns up stunning photos of submerged lanes, shaded by green trees and sunken by decades of wear. Everyone on the project believed the name would lend itself to eye-catching logos and graphic design. We weren’t wrong.