Building a product is tough work. There’s a myriad of problems that can arise on a daily basis whether it be software development, electrical and mechanical engineering, design, marketing, production, manufacturing, legal, quality assurance and more.
So, you might be surprised to find out that one of the hardest parts of building a product of any kind is coming up with a good brand. After all, you’ll be known by this name for a long time, and lets face it – anyone can come up with a name and everyone’s got an opinion. It’s a real challenge!
Since we just recently went through this creative exercise, and with the re-launch of the POLYMEGA™ website we wanted to share how we came up with our new brand name and logo.
Please note: This is a technical / educational post, so if you’re looking for juicy new tidbits of info on the console itself – you’ll need to wait until next week!
Since we were transitioning from another name, we already had a good understanding of the core of our brand identity, which we wanted to keep consistent with the old name and logo. However, we had to decide whether we wanted to stay with one similar in concept to the original name, or change it entirely and go in a different direction. To explore this, we thought it might be good to try some different ideas, first.
Using an AI
Since going in a totally different direction required us to think in the abstract, our engineering wizards came up with an AI that generates darn-near all possible names that an english-speaking human could ever come up with in a giant text file separated into 2 and 3 syllable characters. This produced a literal list of tens of thousands of combinations which we then looked at for a couple days and picked out some interesting candidates from. Frankly, this approach was complete overkill, but was very interesting. In the end, we decided that these types of names were too “startup” sounding, and we felt like we wanted to go with something that spoke directly to the product and would resonate more directly with our audience.
Examples of AI-driven names:
Next, we used a creative alchemy approach where we took two words that we liked and simply mashed them together. This produced some good results, but landed frequently in the realm of names that already existed out there, or names that we would have to shell out a good amount of money to use, practically speaking.
Examples of alchemy names:
Further playing with alchemy, we also tested making portmanteaus of these words. This resulted in even more variations on the above. For example, something like YOU-RETRO would become YOUTRO. Using this technique we landed on a couple of names that rose to the top of the pack and ultimately were submitted for legal background searches.
In the end, after several rounds of review, we finally decided on one of the names that resulted from alchemy, which was best able to articulate the soul of the system: POLYMEGA. POLY represents being multi-faceted (modular), and MEGA being a word synonymous with retro.
Ok we have a name! Now…what about the logo?
The first question we asked ourselves when coming up with the brand logo is, what are some key words that describe POLYMEGA?
Next, we drew shapes that helped best describe visually the meaning of each word.
Then we plotted the text out in big, block type to look for key shapes and ideas that could help form the logo.
Since the goal is to simplify this series of text glyphs down to a shape, we isolated the first letter of each word.
Now we have just the two first letters together.
Here we started abstracting away the glyphs of the font into basic shapes using simple diagonal lines which pay homage to the lines streaking across the top of the console.
Now we’re pushing the shape towards even more modern by further reducing complexity, and adding the sentiment of RGB, or red, green and blue (in our neon color scheme).
Adding the name back in. It’s looking good, but the paired font looks a little bit too much like a racing brand, and we have some slight adjustments to make to the mark.
Let’s try a different font, and make a few tweaks to finalize.
There you have it! Looks easy right? In actuality, it took alot of work to get here from many of our team members over the course of quite a while. While you are seeing the final result, there were many, many names that didn’t make the cut and several that went very far along in the process, just barely not making it for some reason.
Next week we’ll be kicking off a series of posts walking you through the POLYMEGA™ user interface, followed by a big E3 announcement on June 13th!
– Team POLYMEGA