Helpful words

Don’t Call It Anything: House Bills and Hurricanes

Even without Katrina and Audrey, hurricanes with female names are twice as deadly as their masculine counterparts, according to a recent study. The theory: potential victims aren’t as threatened by feminine-sounding storms, don’t prepare as diligently, and suffer the consequences. If a clearer case for the power of the name exists, we’ve yet to hear…

How to Find a URL

So you found a name you love. Then you tried to find a URL. You wanted nameyoulove.com, but the person who parked it is MIA. Now you’re banging your head on the keyboard, digging for a random group of letters and numbers that’s also an available domain. Stop. Save yourself a headache—let us help you figure…

Don’t Click That: The Clickbait Virus

On a bad day, the website Upworthy attracts some 1.5 million unique visitors. Good days see 5 million visits. That’s a hell of a lot of ad revenue without much overhead—the site just writes a bit of copy and hosts other people’s content. So, you know, good for them. They’re making money. Because Upworthy gets…

Branding is Just Like Life: First Date Edition

How would your brand do on a first date? When we say that we build human brands, we aren’t spouting corporo-speak. We imagine brands as people. Even better, we imagine brands as people doing what people do: hanging out at the park, figuring out which trash bin to use, or—in this case—meeting someone on a…

In Defense of Airbnb’s New Logo

Airbnb’s new logo looks like a vagina. Or balls. Or just about any combination of sex organs. When the company announced an identity redesign, most people said, “Hey, genitalia!” A flurry of tweets, clickbait, and listicles ensued. In the first wave, pundits argued whether the logo did, in fact, resemble a vagina. Tweens squinted and…

Don’t Call Them Wearables

Technology is easy to recognize. One glance at a coffee shop laptop and you know it’s a Macbook Air – doesn’t matter if it has 12 stickers on it. This is generally applauded as good product design. If you can recognize a laptop in the wild with a sideways glance, the product can practically market…

Say Croissant

9am. Café. Glass case. A croissant, its buttery, flaky texture a siren call to your empty stomach. A twinge of nostalgia tugs at your heartstrings. Or is that indigestion? “I would like a…” How are you going to say croissant? You could go with a crisp, hard C. You could start from the back of…

Don’t Call It That: Book Signing at Park Life This Thursday

Eli Altman will be signing his book at Park Life in the Mission this Thursday. It all starts around 6:30pm. To people who show up early, Eli will be giving away extremely fluorescent poster with a bunch of names on it.  

The NFL Wouldn’t Rename the Redskins, So We Did

Does your name offend a substantial number of human beings? Is it an outdated, horrible slang term from the early 19th century? Is it possibly illegal? Does it, by its very nature, reduce that same group of people to a skin tone? If so, you might be in the market for a name change! Yes,…

Turn Your Grin Upside-Down: How a Name Makes a Home

Houses with names may seem like a vacation home tradition. It brings to mind​ images of beach houses and country estates named Raspberry Hill or Waite and Sea. But across Oakland homes of the “alternative crowd,” young transients, hippies, punks, taggers, art and music folks, the heart and soul the Bay is known for, have…