What's in a name?

I won't talk of Shakespeare here or wax lyrical about the beauty of prose. However when confronted with a name it can mean everything (and nothing).

Take these names for example, and I bet in three seconds or less you'll have an image in your mind's eye: 

  • Elvis
  • Vogue
  • PlayStation
  • Marilyn Monroe
  • Google
  • Coco-Cola

So, what did you get?

  • The king all dressed in white, collar upturned?
  • Elegant letters?
  • Those shapes; circle, square, triangle and x?
  • That subway vent/skirt incident?
  • Vibrant colours?
  • A cold bottle?

It's all to do with exposure.

Coco-Cola, McDonald's, the big boys, they all have such a reach that the Spencerian Script or "golden arches" are synonymous with their respective owners. They transcend "just a name" and take on a life of their own.


When deciding the name of the magazine (which I decided long before the design of the logo), I didn't want something obvious, that's too easy. I was concious the magazine would have such diverse content that anything obvious would sell it short. That, the content within would almost have to be about that topic. So I had to loosen things up, create something abstract but not so left-field as to become irrelevant.

Plus, I hate clichés. 

 "Scent", "Smell", "Sniff", sure they're obvious, and say something really clear, but where's the fun in that? They sound so dull and they undermine the content, as the content within is much much more than just "smell" and "perfume". It's about people, stories, observations, artistic reflections, inspiration and everything else in between. But the hook, the crux of every piece must be olfactory relatedwhether big or small is unimportant.

Odour. Odour. It sounds nice. It's made with a purse of the lips. Of French origin, now an English word, it suggests French influence, perhaps French perfumery.

Perhaps it was mindless thinking but I said the word without the "r" and it sounded like "o-dou" like the "ou" in "soup", "odou" or "ODOU". 

It looked good in upper case. It implies maturity, a little highbrow without being elitist. I thought of calling it "ODO". It looked good as a palindrome. It even looked like two eyes and a nose, but something irked me. It sounded like a child's plaything. And it's also a Star Trek character. That wouldn't do.