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ENERGIZE

Energy, focus, attention, connection —
what is the energy that’s set,
on the context of driving forward;
uncovering the new?

That is personal. That’s brand. That is human; that’s enterprise.

“energy is eternal delight” — it is the captivation of attention and spectacle, because it’s sensible, it’s felt and the touch of energy brings a charge to action.

Energy and interlacement — the weaving of ideas and humanity; brand and energy — and the mix in the match how people work in enterprise; and how people work in their lives.

I’m thinking that people are either in, or out — they’re committed, or they’re vacuous to the intentionality of the team, the story, the brand and its community. Working with people, for nearly 40 years — I see those that are in, that get it; and those that are simply there. Not here.

T H E   W A T C H I N G   L I S T E N I N G

I’m listening to — and watching —  someone on the phone — and talking about commitment, and direction for a brand; but the real conversation is about the concept of committing to something, connectivity, attention; it is requiring focus — zeroing in to the foci; it’s a storytelling exercise. And someone is trying to tell a story to another person; but my suspicion is that they don’t get it.

The energy that is expended in trying to tell  the story oftentimes comes at the risk of how resonant the story really is to the listener. Telling a story — outlining a positioning, watching the eyes and body of the listener; you can see who’s sitting at the table, leaning and learning in; and those that lean back away, drawing their energy away from the circle.

In the work of the brand space — the marketing of an enterprise, these ideas might be deemed commonplace. Do people lean in — or are they regarding the expression in a more circumspect, circling condition. While the intentionality might be there — there is passion in the commitment of the teller; relevance and resonance will be critical. Do you have the energy to listen? Can you focus, for only a moment?

And — to the reflective return (this story becomes my story) is there an energy in spreading the word? Energy — the potency of that magnetic charging of electrical voice, message and imagery will be everything. These days, it is everything. Energy takes focus. Taking energy takes attention to turn it to the next cause — the new telling.

Practice never makes perfect, but it surely makes betterment:

• Passion springs to mind and body.
• Energy is shareable — enthusiasm (from the Greek en + theos, for the “indwelling of divinity”) energizes.
• Staying power is emboldened by energy — without sustenance, a beautiful story might evanesce in the quiet of dissipation.
• Vitality makes things grow.
• Light, shines — as energy.

While I’d never suggest that I really know the perfection of these conditions, surely I’ve seen what works, from marketing to presentations, from visualization to place-making, from evangelism to launches.

E N E R G Y   W I L L   W I N   I N   T H E   E N D .
tim | vancouver
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CROWDWEAVING STRATEGIES FOR INNOVATION
Girvin Cloudmind® | http://bit.ly/eToSYp

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MEDITATIONS ON PLACE | NYC: SEPTEMBER, 2001


2001 | Girvin photo journal, September: NYC

MEDITATIONS ON PLACE AND
THE PROFUNDITY OF SENSE | NYC: SEPTEMBER, 2001

–––––––––––––

The sight of scene unknowing and the scented perfume of dissolution



It was a couple of weeks after 9.11.2001
that I, along with a Girvin colleague, returned to NYC. We were working in the city, but we didn’t really have an office there. Just working there a lot, as well as the eastern market front — and flying there was the best option. There was a Girvin team in transit during 9.11.01 — and they, along with millions of others, were stuck in transition — some begin, as they could find cars, the long drive home; if the air-routes were closed, then “drive, they said.

I made a journal of photographs,
a collection, walking by, driving by,
shooting on the impulse
.

Being in the city only weeks after the catastrophe of 9.11, I felt reverent about the site itself, and was hesitant to even put myself there — the sanctity of that place. But later at night, I did travel south, from the working midtown environment and hotels that I was stationed at. Even weeks after the event, the turning horizon, New Yorkers donned the small American flag badge, as a kind of resilience harkening back to the call of the original rallying mission of any flag — risen, in place — “we own this land, we have this place, we are here. And we have survived. Still, few knew of the prevailing winds of change that would be emerging in the coming months and years, that would change all of our lives, and surely alter irrevocably, our relationships with each other.

That year already was full of death for me and my family. So being there, the meditations were familiar — the sentiments were well known: *catastrophe.

While there might’ve been the fulminating surge of aggression moving from some vindictive offices, still others — at the heart of the work, the rebuilding, the demise of demolition — engaged in the clearing and the move to a return to action and function. I admired that, only two weeks later, there was an energy and stride, moving past, through, and beyond what had happened to recreating the action and adrenalized connectedness to the rest of the word.

Stories unfolded — and we worked on some of them.

NYC — like any of the top five capitals in the world, was a leyline for the powered electricity of humanity and creativity; and what that means for brands, community, enterprise and the artful insights of living large and fully.

Things were moving. Magnetism energized — and we were drawn back in, quickly.

Being a note, that is made after the fact, that instance of connection came in being in a house where this booklet has sat for 10 years. I never looked at it, until today — and these are images that are images, of images.

Weaving back, that story, woven forward, that storytelling – the vast tapestry of the millions that are interwoven into the living warp, woof and threading that unfolds in the speed of the shuttle, moving back and forth in the weaving of time — that shows the evolutions of that dimensional imagery.

Time folds, and so too,
the sorting of our memory
in the meaning of the moment.

Being there, the perfume of destruction is doomed to the unforgettable; scent is dense — the layered dusting of concrete, sharpened steel shards — sprung molecules of alchemized metals, fumes of the deepest dirt — funerary, dire and dark, slightly tinged with the ripeness of decade’s decay. It’s a dream that I’ve got, that running back — at the site, the clouds that riffled past the flags, the signs of the thousands, the smoking and tearing of earth and crumpling steels that held them. That fragrance, like any memory, you’re drawn into the center of the earth of your mind — and you realize it’s a moment that you’re taken back, which could be the heart-full centered point of the most difficult momentum in the pathfinding of your life.

F R O M   T H E   J O U R N A L
S  H  O  T     B  Y     G  I  R  V  I  N

––––––––––––––––––––––

on it

van messages

one path, in



the wall, standing

the forensic gather

dust script

who and where

victory steed



one touch, meditation



flag, flagged.

story, told

subway, locker

where, was

Everyone will go there, once.
Everyone will be there, again.

GIRVIN  | WEAVING HUMANITY
BRANDSTORIES AND SHIMMERING  MINDS
CROWD MIND | EXPERIENCE DESIGN | MEMORY STRATEGY
http://bit.ly/ev7AYx

*catastophe:
1530s, “reversal of what is expected” (especially a fatal turning point in a drama), from the Latin — catastropha, which is born from the Greek katastrophe “an overturning; a sudden end,” from katastrephein “to overturn, turn down, trample on; to come to an end,” from kata “down” +strephein “turn” (see strophe). The meaning extension to “sudden disaster” is first recorded 1748.

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The concept of the interval: the use of space in design

I think about what is presence.
And I consider, what is absence?
What is here — easily seen; and what is next?
What is the interval?
What converts moment to momentum?

One wind driven day, I was painting with master sumi-ye painter, George Tsutakawa. He, master; me, student. We were painting on the shore of the ocean – drawing with brush and ink-ground stone; and as the wind ripping around us, sipping saké, crows slipped through the air like black ribbons.

He said, “it’s never about what is drawn, in the painting, but rather what is not — is the gap of the stroke — the space left bare that is the most important.”

One might consider the idea of place and the page, or the screen — isn’t it so that the real presence of design might emerge where there is nothing: the area left untouched?


Hakuin Ekaku, 2 Blind Men Crossing Log Bridge, Edo 1760s

To the Japanese sentiment, the idea of ma is far more complex; and even describing it might be considered bewildering. Like other Japanese sentiments — to reference shibui, wa, iki, wabi-sabi, yugen — each of them are layered in meaning, poetic treatments and legendary representations. The principle lies in the spirit of a contemplative reflection on the issues of experience — and the sensitivity of how that might be studied, designed and sensed. And in many of these aesthetic notions, there are — in most — centuries of evolution and commentary. Iki is a more recent character (only 300 years old) — a sense of originality and direct, simplistically refined “stylishness.”

But what of Ma — while not specifically an aesthetic sentience — it is a philosophy of the experience of place — and the thinking design of this sensibility. According to a document from Columbia, ma — a “Japanese spatial concept is experienced progressively through intervals of spatial designation. In Japanese, ma — the word for space — suggests interval. It is best described as a consciousness of place, not in the sense of an enclosed three-dimensional entity, but rather the simultaneous awareness of form and non-form deriving from an intensification of vision.

Ma is not something that is created by compositional elements; it is the thing that takes place in the imagination of the human who experiences these elements. Therefore ma can be defined as “experiential place understood with emphasis on interval.” It’s described as the natural distance between two or more things — or the space in the movement between posts, screens, or the interval sequencing of such phenomena.

How that might relate to the nature of experience design strategy will be about the sequencing of how people sense places that are made.

Working with master educator, calligrapher, art historian and theorist, Lloyd Reynolds, at Reed College, we talked about the idea of the spatial interval, the sense of respite in the layering of how people see and sense a place — “like the breadth of a sidewalk that allows a building to breathe, or the nature of a ritualized movement in a cathedral — where the procession is designed to give “space” to the nature of that experience” the edges are purified. Ma, that sensitivity can be found as a profound expression in the retreat from the clutter — the intentional guidance from one way of seeing, one sight to another, a line of visioning from one way of seeing, that will lend itself to another portal of seeing.

I might offer that the concept has relevance to just about everything we do, in the nature of brand, story, concept, positioning and the understanding of space — opening — and place. The drawn letter, the created design — a screen, a pathway, an object; what space, what absence, in presence, allows it to thrive in the sight and touch of our sense of being.

t i m
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CASTING

CASTING

WORKING IN IRON, AND HAMMERING IT,
OR POURING IT MOLTEN
INTO THE CRUCIBLE, ONE LIQUID
BECOMES HARD AND FAST —
LASTING FOREVER.

BUT THERE IS MORE.

I’m thinking about the cast in two ways — one, the molding itself, and by the form, what is poured into it. But what is cast is also a throw — a casting, the stone that is thrown and formed in the hurling — it is changed in the motion.
To each there is a measure of the way in which this is done — the art of the cast.
I thank Douglas Harper for his explorations, that — as ever — deepen the seeing into the heart of language.
For the casting is also about the art of weaving — which, unto itself, is a mystical interlacement of warp and weft.
See here, that drawing back of the word, that means so much, for hundreds of years — the casting. And that casting is a rich furrow in the mind of what is above and what is below. A cast in the eye — the sense of the turning of the “warp.” From the 1200s that word came from the Old Norse, kasta — “to throw,” passing on to the idea of “a form the thing takes after it has been thrown.”

I think of the centering of the thrown cast of clay, hurled and thrown on the spinning wheel of the potter. That one cast, the formed throw — on the wheel. It spins out and in — and it means everything to the nature of the toss.

Thrown wrong, and it’s forever out of warp. And whatever the cast, it shall truly found the meaning of what lies ahead.

Tim | G R A N V I L L E I S L A N D

INNOVATION + CROWDWEAVING STRATEGIES
Girvin Cloudmind | http://bit.ly/eToSYp

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S A N C T A S A N C T O R U M


sanctum \SANK-tum\, noun;

Alone, this morning, I was thinking about the quietude of the place that I am, the place that I am being in — and I considered — I held, that idea of place and magic. That place of retreat — and respite.

Long back, being in Rome, and hearing of the holiest of holies — a place in, if you can imagine it, the Vatican, I contemplated that idea of sacred space. But, to what is holy; to what is sacred space — a place of sanctity?

And since that time, traveling — I’ve been to so many sacred sites, the miracles and magic of the sense of being in this place of profundity, mysteriousness and heritage.

I might call a deep and aged forest the holiest of places — or the glinting night fall at a hike’s end, an old water, falling in thousands of years of passage. Over and over, telling the same story. Or down the dust beat road, in an old New Mexican church — one room, one place — where all the spiritual energy congregates. But who is seeing it, sensing it? Where are they? There are draws to the idea of the sacred placement — the gathering. But it might be to the sensing and assignation of the idea of sanctity is powerful. Two reactions — beauty, a holiness that is so profound that it invokes fear — the mysterium tremendum. Or — the numinous experience that is bewitching and potent: the mysterium fascinans. Either, their own; either, your own.

But you can find your sacred place —
which could be in your heart, for one moment; the curling light of dawn —
in the mist; the crashing thrashing of the grandest sea storm —
or the wind in the plains that has a whorled, whirled life of its own.

Looking at place, you come into that magic — the entrancement.
But, you have to be there.

plural
sanctums or sancta::
1. A sacred place.
2. A place of retreat where one is free from intrusion.

Sanctum comes from the Latin, meaning “holy, sacred, or inviolable.”

I was meditating on this word; and thought of an image that would be compelling, to connection with the others.

But even in the others near by, you are still here.
And while this place might be yours, it might be others’ as well.

I took this image when I was in Bali — late at night, after midnight — the crossing hour — in a village temple compound. There was a Balinese woman that I’d met, spending time with her — she took me there, on the back of her motorcycle. Riding along the dark lightless roads of country Bali — wearing temple adat dress, the kamben, center knotted; the saput shirt, the headwrap of the udeng.

A ceremony, with the clonging of gamelan, singing and prayer — with a whirling dance of the woman — young to very old.

And there was no one else there from the west; just them. And me. And the priestess was there, blessing. And in this blessing, there was a spirit there, above. I sensed that — you can see that, the wavering above her.

Scene seen, open-eyed — with any thing, there’s a blessing.
Walking out, this morning, in the glimmering dawn of early light — creeping over the snow cast hills above Vancouver, I was still looking for that special place — a sacred place.

By course, you can find them anywhere.

Wishing well, in every thing — thinking into the design of everything

tsg | g r a n v i l l e i s l a n d | vancouver, b.c.

DESIGN THINKING UNCONFERENCE | 2011

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INNOVATION TEAMS OF THE CUMULAR MIND
Girvin Cloudmind | http://bit.ly/eToSYp

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THE MOTHER OF COURAGE

EXPLORING FEMININE LEADERSHIP

The power of the feminine principal

I’ve been working with three (new) clients, all women, whose names shall be held in reserve, for now — but it’s interesting to contemplate the character of the feminine, when it comes to their leadership.

There is a balance — even in feminine organizations — between the masculine principles of management, and the intuitive instinct of the reactive response. Beyond that, there are more leaders, over time —
each founded by, and led by,
women that I’ve worked in partnership with.

Balance and courage.

I’m looking for heart, and searching for the character of the balance between the intuitive and feminine instinct of connection to their leading. Sometimes, it’s maternal; sometimes, it’s the softer touch, other times it’s brutally direct, slamming powerful and intensely driven.

B A L A N C E
–––––
What does that mean?
FROM THE LATIN, THE BILANX, THE SCALE
A woman leader will be looking for balance, to family and the personal.
A woman will seek the answer — focused on a direct path to answer and resolution.

–––––
A woman will have heart.
What does that mean?

FROM THE LATIN, COR, THE HEART OF INNER STRENGTH
C O U R A G E

Right now, I’ve got more women [than men] that I’m working with — both to teams, and to clients — that lets me ask the question about leadership and the feminine imperative.

I think about experiences, to that, working with leaders —
amazing women:

Dawn Mello,
Geraldine Stutz,
Annemarie Schimmel,
Laura Lendrum,
Diane Von Fürstenberg.

Bold, brilliant, remarkable. And more now.
Courage, passion, drive, balance.

I could use more of each, myself.

Women lead in a different way —
tim
—-

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WHAT IS OUT, WHAT IS IN

THE PORTALS TO SEEING

SOME ONE WAS TALKING TO ME ABOUT WINDOWS.
Actually, I was looking at old windows and wondering about what’s been seen between the seer and the sight beyond. These were old windows — that were removed from houses. They were being sold as recycled objects. All showed time, wear and use; edges worn, some panes cracked — and I pondered, that now, as I lay them on the floor, concrete staring through, what would their character be? What could have been seen? What was on the inside, and what was on the outside? Who stood there, looking out; and looking in, what could be seen there?

I think of gardens. I think of flowers. I dream of the deep green of pine. I think of the rain — and the glints of sun, just the edge of glimmer and wet — on the sill. Crows call, and slip and drift. The gray light of Seattle’s horizon, that softened character of color in the Northwest oysterlight.

How clean, the panes of seeing?
How worn, the story of their containment — the edges of the window seams?
What detail holds them in place?

I wonder about that, myself — what eyes, have I seen with?
And how worn, the edges of their visioning?

Many stories shall be told.
What to the window, for you?

t i m | black rock, I D A H O
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Strategies of Innovation | Cinematic Production Design

Working the World: Innovations and Revelations, the Future Reclaimed

I N N O V A T I O N C H A N N E L S

Working in varying parts of the world, depending on the culture, your relationships there invariably offer to show you the newest and the coolest in town. Being the contrarian, I’d rather go for the oldest. But one does get around to studying what’s emerging in the newest art / theater and productions / architectural / industrial design / lighting, electronics, cp goods / interiors and experiences. One might think of innovations as gathered around these channels as merely ways of studying, in any city, what’s happening.

W O R L D T R A V E L |

I N N O V A T I O N H U N T I N G

• Art is invariably at the head of innovation, examining the art scene, big or small, is where risk and personal exposure become the most intimate. Art can be an index to vitality; lively cultural environments tend to be more about invention and expansion beyond the known field.

• Architecture is holistically spherical innovation, the story relates to a bigger telling of exposure; it’s never about the architectural visioning alone, it extends to teams of talent that build the solution — and therefore, the innovation is an interlacement conjoined, collaborative and marvel-making.

• Industrial design, the engineering of touch — is another tier that can expand a range of experiential innovation fronts. On a visit, harder to find unless you reach to the studios, design galleries. I study in advance, then go there, connect directly.

• The lighting of things, there can be a journey that is about uncovering the secret of lighting places, interiors, buildings, parks, streets, sculpture, entertainments — the intrigue of that journey is that it’s not merely about the night. Lighting as a design and innovation proposition can be “how things are seen.”

• Electronics and consumer goods, I’d align these together — it’s a huge category of innovation, but similarly resonant to each other. Clearly, there are a huge variety of electronic devices — and when it comes to consumer product innovation, they might diverge and converge in a sine wave of movements of complex interweaving.

Searching for innovations there is a foundational requirement, as a design traveler, blogger, theorist, practitioner, and is it that you’ve got to get out there. See things, first hand — and I’m sure that there are many others that have experienced, and do travel internationally, far more than I do.

What I was examining, in the opening to this innovation observation — is that in experiencing wonders and spectacle in fabulous inventive trend and transitions, how often that might be presaged in cinematic evocation — the voice of story and film. A great deal — written about that. Films as the concrete of innovation. What marveled theory has been defined in a motion picture first? It might be said that even mere ideas, political positioning, strides in attitude could be influenced by the idea of film acting as a kind of testing ground, a bedrock of ideation that can lend itself to retelling: truth, later.

F I L M A N D I N N O V A T I O N

Working in the realm of motion picture advertising, identity and theatrical design, what one finds is that the level and strength of the production values pushes over-the-top the complexity of nearly all of the categories noted above. Working with Scott Chambliss and the J.J. Abrams team on Star Trek, was more like working in an architectural and industrial design office than the lot of Paramount Studios. Same too in dozens of other projects and productions, where the building of an imaginary world was comprehensively detailed. Early on, this scenario found its opening seedling for me.

In the early 80s, there was rumor round about a Philip K. Dick reinterpretation by a young, but experienced commercial director from London, Ridley Scott. I had already some connection with his brother, Tony Scott, but live meetings were distant — LA was a long way away. And expensive for me, as a startup young designer. But I’d seen some of the concept drawings for the filmic work underway, working the streets in LA. That idea of street wisdom, interestingly enough, was the jolt that began the connection for this overview.

| T O K Y O T E K |

| GEO-COSMOS |

OLED VIDEO DISPLAY

A month back, (June 2011) there was an announcement about the Tokyo National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, displaying Mitsubishi Electric’s “Geo-Cosmos,” what’s been called the world’s first large scale, applied spherical OLED. According to TokyoTek’s overview, the “gigantic globe features 10,362 OLED panels covering an aluminum sphere hanging 42′ from the floor. The 18′ orb is an upgrade to a previous model which featured regular LED panels — OLED boasts a resolution roughly 10 times greater than LED, with more than 10 million pixels. Seeing the video launch of the technology immediately reminded me of Scott’s Blade Runner (1982).

While the globe was installed to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the museum, founded on the desires of Executive Director Mamoru Mohri “wanting to share with people the sight of our beautiful Earth as seen from space,” what it reminded me of was the visioning of LA, 2019. Janet Maslin, of the NY Times, was among some of the early disbelievers, in her assessment of the filmmaker’s “view of the future offered by Ridley Scott’s muddled yet mesmerizing ”Blade Runner” is as intricately detailed as anything a science-fiction film has yet envisioned.” She continues later with the downbeat review, offering “Science-fiction devotees may find ”Blade Runner” a wonderfully meticulous movie and marvel at the comprehensiveness of its vision. Even those without a taste for gadgetry cannot fail to appreciate the degree of effort that has gone into constructing a film so ambitious and idiosyncratic. The special effects are by Douglas Trumbull, Richard Yuricich and David Dryer, and they are superb. So is Laurence G. Paull’s production design. But ”Blade Runner” is a film that special effects could have easily run away with, and run away with it they have.”

That might be the point, that the real beauty of the film, aside from the mysterious storytelling, that was nearly mythic in its absorbed fan analyses, was the creation of a place that didn’t exist yet in the world

It wasn’t a perfect world — but technology had a place and a play in the emotionally evocative advertising drifting weirdly through everything — the misted and perpetually raining city.

While the story unfolds, the engagement continues. While the earth turns, the sphere moves. While the long night rains, the pixelated blimp passes through the cityscape.

Working in the world of product innovation strategies, as well as film and production marketing, and finally the synchrony of brand and storytelling, these evincements come to me fluidly — it might be said that I’m reaching to make connections.
But, it’s true, I’m always reaching for what’s out there.
And what’s right here.

Other bridges, see Sphere. Imagination reigns.

TIM
…..

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STRATEGIES OF NAMING

The Naming of Things
THE MYSTICAL ROOTS OF THE GATHERING OF NAMES.

An ancient principle of voice struggles in the subjective empowerment of words — as vessels for improvised ideas — and the named premise of ideals.

I’ve written in the past about the idea of the thing. The very name: thing, is something that speaks to a depth of meaning. Centuries back, thing was the matter of a meeting, a deliberation — an entity being discussed. Earlier — it was about time; and it might even relate to the “stretching” of time — during the time for a meeting. From the 1600s, it might’ve referenced the “unnameable” — a thingumbob (1751), thingamajig(1824). Or more recently, the hippie parlance: “do your thing.” Or pure style, fashionability, the thing — from 1762.

Names — the development of naming solutions as part of a brand program are among the most difficult. It’s because of one thing — names, as part of something being “read” or spoken are levels of some of the most subjective, the savoring, the study, the read and voiced rendering of a thing, as a name — is personal. People react viscerally — a name is a name; but in that they are far more important; the name could be, shall be, the heart of the brand — it’s the Google, the Amazon, the Apple; it’s “only a name,” but it’s everything. Say it, and you’re there; read it, and you know it. (Naming, and the ancient legacy of the word — the nomen, speaks to the mystical naming of an entity; it’s not merely voicing a “title” it is about calling forth the power of that thing — or, the being that resides in that thing. To add to the measure — our idea of etymology comes from that selfsame ancient index — the etymon being the true name of the thing. And in that voicing, the invoking or invocation — that spirit just might come forth.)

Back to earth: but in that challenge — the seeming ease of developing a name — there are numerous burdens of proof in survival. Rules of the name might be simplistically framed as:

N A M I N G R E F E R E N C E S
• It’s metaphorical — there’s something in the character that lends to a hidden meaning that resonates deeply to the listener. Amazon the river flows.
• It means what is being done — there’s a mission, a promise, and the name fulfills it. Shake Shack shakes.
• There is a code, the naming strategy is a “secret language, which must be shared and identified for others outside the circle. Red Giant strides.
• The name is combinant — it gathers component and unites them in a differing context. VoiceStream vocalizes.
• It’s part of a numerical coding. BMW Series 1.
• There is a story, it might be hidden, but there is a conceptual bridge to legacy. Apple rolls.
• A person, connecting to the foundation. Lynda.com.

Defining the right strategy for naming — think:

The architecture of naming — is this name to be used in the criteria of other, extant names? Relevance would be a critical concern.

Visualization — the name should be considered in the context of sight; how it looks, or shall look, will be an important reference.

Ease — answering the phone, written and read, the aural character, this fluency will be an important measure.

Conceptual foundation — it’s desirable that there is a story, a concept bridging between the idea of the name and the foundation of its reasoning.

Trendiness — there are trends that roll in the landscape of naming solutions; these trends nearly can be tracked as a kind of strata in the history of naming development, from the directness of International Business Machines to the seeming oddness of Google.

Unique proposition — the idea of alignment to distinction, in framing the “onliness” or differing character, as well as owned uniqueness will support definition in the market.

In a recent AdAge overview, the idea of naming found a new insight in studying the name of agencies. Interestingly, the solutions for naming creative firms is something that is uniquely challenging, given the expectations of not only responding to client needs, and to creating live content in building brands. A note, exploring names offers a string of backstories:

Odopod (and Godzilla)
“When we started Odopod we wanted to create a company with the ideas and resources to execute big and the metabolism and culture to behave small,” said Founder and Creative Director Tim Barber. “So when it came to naming the company we combined two pieces that got at this big/small idea. Odo — this was Godzilla’s island, the island where he had been a legend for generations and where he first came ashore. We loved the bigness and total domination of Godzilla. And Pod [because] at the same time we liked that we were a compact team that grew ideas, like a pod — the compact, protective enclosure of a seed. For the record, Steve Jobs stole our thunder a year later when the iPod launched.”

Zaaz (a Seattle favorite, and friends of Girvin)
“We wanted a name that wasn’t an acronym or the founders’ names,” said Shane Atchison, founder and CEO of Zaaz. “So we came up with Zaaz, mainly because it was short, succinct, available. Also it’s a palindrome. We define it as something new, because that’s something we aspire to do every day. There’s no secret meaning behind it, just a made up word.”

Critical Mass (the scientific mix)
“In science, a ‘critical mass’ is defined as an amount necessary to achieve a significant effect,” explained Critical Mass CEO Dianne Wilkins. “It’s that perfect mix of ingredients needed to start a chain reaction. In terms of the brand, our Critical Mass is a unique mix of people, ideas and results — it’s the combination of these things coming together as a catalyst for extraordinary experiences. The name really expresses something that is at the core of what we do — we have an unrelenting desire to create experiences that make an impact on our clients’ brands, their businesses and their customers.”

Rokkan (the gut instinct)
Said Rokkan CEO John Noe: “It’s Japanese for the ‘sixth sense.’ Two of us are Korean and one is Chinese. We just liked the way it looked and sounded. … And thought the meaning was relevant. … As much as we try to be thoughtful about strategy and process, we ultimately just go with our gut on things.”

Herezie (courage endures)

Andrea Stillacci, who launched Paris agency Herezie at last year’s Cannes Lions festival, said: “We always liked the Heretics. Their courage. Their faith. Their fearless challenge to dogmas and orthodoxy.” Mr. Stillacci said “heresy” is derived from a Greek word meaning “power to change,” and that also appealed to him and his business partner, Luc Wise. “If you think about it, what other name could better fit the idea of launching an independent agency, in France, right in the middle of the financial crisis?” said Mr. Stillacci. (Cheil Worldwide holds a minority stake.) These references come from Kunur Patel and Laurel Wentz.

While some of these names are conceptually strong, a question might be to longevity — still many of them flourish. The added question might be the alignment of strategy to long-term staying power; agencies come and go; and few have the strength to endure for decades; thus the notion of the creative impulse in naming — here today, energetically vital; and tomorrow — something new.

Just like the emergence of the new ideal.

tim | NYC GIRVIN
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SEND HELP

WHAT LANGUAGE: YOUR MESSAGE?

WHAT CALL: YOUR PLEA?

WHAT TONE: YOUR HOPE?

HOW LOUD: YOUR REACH?

Sometimes I’m asking for help.
But I’m not asking for help
in the right way.

One calls out, but the call falls on deafness.
The point might be that the call is incorrect, it’s the wrong language.
Or, the idea of that plea might be framed in a manner that isn’t rightly conveyed.

A call is one thing; a shout, another. A scream — still another; a whisper another.

I can recall, working with children, that the loudest yell is nothing but shocking. The off-putting boom — and the messaging call is dissociative.

And the better reaching gesture — sound, touch, insight, to the culling of attention — might be a whisper which implores and draws in. The whisperer is the wisp — a ghost of a moment that might reach all the more deeply into the momentary gaze of attention.

Another plea will sail away in the wind.
The wisp of the whisper might never be forgotten.

Sometimes, the message can be soft, not loud, and it will be heard round the world.
A murmur can be like a heartbeat.

In the context — with the textual — sometimes the most beautiful message is the most profoundly simple. Elegant — a whisper of restraint; the haiku of moment.

In the work that we do, defining voice, volume and its tenor, styled structure and character are the rootwork of relationships. If there’s persistent truth, and the rightfully layered set of messages and images, then a recollection will be held.

And you will not be forgotten.

t i m | THE ADVERTISING MILE
NYC + Madison Avenue

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