Typeface Naming

What is your typical process when selecting a name for a typeface you're designing...

especially one intended for the market? My apologies if this question has previously been posed in another forum section or thread; if so, I'd greatly appreciate a link to relevant past discussions.

At what stage do you select a name for the typeface you're developing? Do you place greater value on choosing a name that holds significance to you, one that 'feels right' for the characters' forms and/or references the inspiration for the face? Or are you primarily concerned with choosing a name that is 'aesthetically pleasing' and would stand to appeal to potential consumers?

I'm a few months into work on a face and selecting a name for it has been anything but top of mind...I've certainly sat down and set about making a list of candidates but in a strange way can't be bothered with it—I'd rather continue the meat of the design work unbiased by a predetermined name, then decide on something when the mood strikes.

Thanks in advance for your responses.

Frank ADEBIAYE's picture

Depends if a typographic nominalist (i.e. type naming fetichist) or not.

There is no evidence of positive effect of typeface name on sale.

However, specific name could convey a specific universe that the type design is supposed also to suggest.

As far as I and my own foundry VTF (www.vtf.fadebiaye.com) we are often inspired by music and future, and we try to avoid autoreferential naming (i.e. typeface named after a type designer name) because we think that a typeface is enough specific and elist as such.

Or more concrete, you could be inspired by the first letters or words you design.

There is obsviously no absolute rule about all that matter.

Andy Babb's picture

Frank: thanks much for taking the time to respond. You bring up an interesting approach to naming in your comment regarding the first letters or words designed for the typeface. Thanks also for sharing the link to your foundry's site—very great stuff, by the way...I hope to spend more time looking through it at some point. I enjoy the music references in the names of some of your typefaces: Tellier, Morrissey, Kravitz, etc. Given that designers themselves constitute such a large bloc of consumers and more often than not are avid music fans, I definitely see how giving a nod to music is an effective naming convention for capturing a potential user's attention.

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