What’s in a Name?

This post is about some of the considerations when choosing a name.

The original is in English and has a Spanish translation. There is a selection of layouts for viewing the translated text – click the tab labelled “en > es” to see them. We hope you will browse through them and choose the one that suits you best.

The Spanish translation was done by Máximo Cabeza.

en : Originalen > es

Many moons ago, driven by the urge to do something creative that would produce a physical end product, my wife and I started making chess sets. We set ourselves up with moulds and resin to make basic sets. Progress was rapid and the results very exciting. Spurred on we bought more extravagant moulds and sintered metals to experiment further. It was great! Such a feeling of fulfilment to see raw materials stacked up to one side of the workshop and beautiful chess sets on the other.

The next step was to see if people were willing to hand over their hard-earned mula for these works of art. We investigated craft fairs in the area which ranged from small and ad hoc to large and regular, so we decided to dip our toes in at the shallow end. All well and good, but how did we want to be known? Just by our names? A company name? And so began our first search for a name and hence a brand.

Lewis Chess Set

The Lewis set was one of the first that we made.

We came up with all sorts of ideas. I don’t think that’s the hard part. The hard part is coming up with a name that you’re happy with!

We wanted something that sounded nice, appealed to both of us, encapsulated that we were working together and would be easy to remember. The end result was Partnership Isis. We liked that the initials spell pi and in those days Isis only had the positive connotations associated with the Egyptian goddess.

People did buy our sets in sufficient numbers to make it worthwhile and those that did seemed to really love them. After a year or so we called it a day and looked for another way to meet our creative needs. With us both working in IT and the advent of the web this turned out to be building websites for ourselves and others.

More names to find and hopefully getting better at finding them!

Whilst living in Spain, we spent a couple of years or so teaching English to local business people. To do this we decided to complement the teaching materials provided by the language school with our own. Rather than take the obvious route of creating text documents, we set about building a website so that the students could view each page in English or English and Spanish. This flexibility proved to be a real winner with the students.

The name we ended up with was Platinum Moon for the English site which led to Luna platino in Spanish. All well and good, or so we thought. The names sounded nice and made sense to us. We use all sorts of words to indicate colours and their varying shades in English, like apple white, bergamot and chestnut to name but a few. But as we found out much later, to a typical Spaniard, where this trend for colour names is not so prevalent, Luna platino just sounds weird.

So now to Pi. We wanted the same things we were looking for when we selected Partnership Isis, but now with a “start local think global” mindset we wanted to learn from our mistakes. We looked for words that are the same in many languages, newer words like “taxi”, gods and goddesses (Greek, Roman, Norse, etc.), natural elements (metals, gems, etc.), animals and more. All of which led us back to alphabets and eventually Pi.

Once you have a name you need a website to go with it, but pi.com has already gone. It just shows pi to the first 73 decimal places. A bit of a waste, I’d say. However, it did make us stop and think about whether we wanted to use a .com at all. And we didn’t. In the same way that we wanted a cross-cultural name we decided the web address should convey that too. Of all the top-level domains available at the time .xyz seemed to fit that bill the best.

At school when you start learning about pi it’s usually approximated to 22/7 and then 3.14. As you progress with your studies the number of decimal places tends to increase. For our web address we stopped at 3 because this uses the numbers 1, 2, 3 and 4 which ties in nicely with the xyz. I hope you agree.

It just remains for me to wish you the happiest of St. Valentine’s Days and I hope to see you back here on 14th March aka Pi Day (3.14.2015) for my next post.

es : Translation
en || es : Parallel
en + es : Mixed
en +/- es : Toggle
en+es : Compact
en / es : Tandem

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  1. Pingback: Pi in the Sky | Pi Blogs

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