Found a Great Business Name? Save Yourself Some Money and Make Sure It’s Available! ‏

What’s the best business name you’ve ever heard of? Thought about it yet? Okay, now think how different things could’ve gone for those companies if they lost out on the name they really wanted. Google for instance, initially went by “BackRub” until Larry Page and Sergey Brin changed it to its current household name (now worth US$268bn) according to Forbes World’s Most Valuable Brands.

The last time I wrote a blog closely related to this subject it looked specifically on naming your business. This time around I think it’s just as important to outline why you should do everything to keep your newly discovered business name.

This is the perfect example of a made up name that was pure genius for the business
This is the perfect example of a made up name that was pure genius for the business

In the past I’ve either heard the business names my friends came up with or I’ve helped them create the names that were both great and catchy that fit their business idea perfectly. Unfortunately they’ve never gotten a chance to use them. On the flip-side, I’ve had friends who came up with great names, started using them, but who later found out the name was taken by someone else. First come, first served, right? Here’s what happened to them in those instances:

1) They failed to register the name with the Companies Office of Jamaica (or its equivalent in your country);
2) They didn’t do adequate online research on name availability;
3) Or they thought the name was too unique and original to be created by someone else.

When the opportunity presents itself, take it before it's gone
When the opportunity presents itself, take it before it’s gone

When you’ve struck gold with a potential business name (forgive the cliché), you need to strike while the iron is hot! Any hesitation on your part could mean losing what could’ve been a lucrative business. After all, the name is half the battle. Your business name will influence the logo design, identity, and brand that you will develop for your start-up. This requires an investment of your time and capital (usually limited) into print and web presence (domain name, website, social media — Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.).

The worse thing that could possibly go wrong is when you’ve invested in a business name that is already taken and is being used by someone else. You just wasted your effort and lost earning potential and some customers. You will now have to go back to ye olde drawing board like Marvin the Martian (below).

Give some thought to how big you want to grow. If you’d like to see your business in international markets (export) then your business name will need to be an “original”. There are exceptions that can occur when you came up with a name that already exists, if and only if that business is in a completely different category as yours; let’s say making hats versus making cars. It happens.

At the end of the day though, it’s best to save yourself any unnecessary headache as it relates to intellectual property, trademark, and copyright infringements. Not only that, the added costs of already hiring a graphic designer, professional photographer, marketing expert, and others can amount to a lot of cash. Think about all that I’ve just said to you and do yourself a favour, research, and register before your business name is redundant (for you at least).

Originality won’t “amount” to much if you’ve botched the execution.

Play Your Best Hand: Hourly Rates Vs Flat Rates

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So the question got asked via linkedin — “How do you charge your client? By hourly or project? What’s the advantage. and disadvantage?”

From my experience in the last 10 years, I’ve been low-balled, burned and short-changed by customers. Lessons learned.

I find that for any graphic designer (especially new ones) it is best to charge by project at a set price. This does two things:

1) It protects the interest of the graphic designer
2) It demonstrates to a client the value-added and worth of graphic design

In some instances, I have done logo design projects that take me a full two weeks to complete a design from concept to digital reproduction (in Adobe Illustrator) and other moments where it took me a few days, because of how fast inspiration came to me. In the latter instance, if I had charged hourly I would have been on the losing end.

Finally, what most graphic designers forget too is that you should not just be compensated for your labour, but more importantly for your IDEAS that translate into intellectual property (IP). That right there is priceless.

My blog site covers a few similar questions – http://phreshideasanddesigns.wordpress.com/

Good luck to all!

Fun Fact: James Bond (007) came to mind when I decided on the title and image!

phresh phashion™ unveils its new designs: nineteen62™ THE COLLECTION

On August 3rd, 2012 I unveiled the first collection under the phresh phashion™ brand aptly titled ‘nineteen62™ THE COLLECTION’. A total of 24 t-shirts have been screen printed to test the market in sizes from small (S) to extra-large (XL).

The collection features two designs: 1962 ♥ Jamaica comes “ALIVE”! and LOVE JAMAICA LIKE COOK FOOD! on black and white high-end t-shirts made from 95% cotton and 5% spandex which makes it form-fitting, breathable and comfortable to wear.

Below are the designs:

1962 ♥ Jamaica comes “ALIVE”!

This shirt celebrates the love and genesis of Jamaica as a nation. The design also captures its inspiration from reggae music and this is represented with the use of colours that include red, green and gold. The 1962 in the design marks the birth of our beloved land while the typeface or font style is a throwback to that phunky era!  The heart in 1962 is the focal point of the design and is created by the negative space when the 6 and 2 come together. It also signifies that as a country “Our hearts beat as ONE people,  with ONE love.”

LOVE JAMAICA LIKE COOK FOOD!

Ever notice that ackee looks like a heart?
This original design lavishes love on Jamaica!  The ackee being the national fruit (and one half of the famous national dish) also plays a dual role as a heart that expresses our love for Jamaica. The writing is reminiscent of a typeface or font style that existed in the 1960s, reminding us of Jamaica’s Independence as we “savour” 50 years.

Fun Fact: A Jamaican’s love of our food is never far from our hearts.

There’s no greater feeling than watching an idea go from concept to reality and this for me has been a wonderful moment to be living my dream of being a t-shirt designer who acknowledges the importance of form and function topped off with random, witty and fun designs.

This is just the beginning.