lowercase logo - how to represent it in normal text...

DouglasW's picture

Hi,

This post is just to ask your opinions on a connundrum I'm currently facing.

The logo for my company is all lowercase (see it here - http://www.naturalstudio.co.uk) and I'm having a bit of a hard time deciding how it should be represented in a normal body of text.

1. naturalstudio
2. NaturalStudio
3. Natural Studio

I am keen for it to be one word (to try and maintain some sort of branding), but the first one poses certain problems. For the past year or so, I have used the first option (naturalstudio) exclusively. However, it is very context dependent - unless someone is already familiar with the name of the company, because of the lack of capitalisation, it might simply look like someone has ommited a space.

Also, it looks a bit clumsy when placed first in a sentence:

As you see, it seems quite unatural. naturalstudio doesn't seem to work in this instance.

Which leaves NaturalStudio. At least it has "a look" about it. However, I think it may be a bit tacky. What do you all reckon?

The last option is Natural Studio, but somehow that just looks a bit uninspiring to me. Also, there is no branding there at all - just two separate, commonly used words.

To put a spanner in the works, the record label division of the company is usually on album artwork as naturalstudio records (i.e all lowercase). But how should it be cited in text - naturalstudio records? NaturalStudio Records? Natural Studio Records?

Any ideas?

Looking forward to your thoughts.

Douglas.

Reed Reibstein's picture

A common device is to format the company's name in a distinctive manner each time it appears: bold, colored, or in a different font, for example. Doing that could alleviate your concerns about having the name at the beginning of a sentence.

I'd go with consistency above all else, so I'd recommend using "naturalstudio" since you seem to largely employ that elsewhere. A number of people are opposed to innercaps like "NaturalStudio" (which is apparently why it's "Photoshop" and not "PhotoShop" -- one certainly looks classier than the other).

Spire's picture

I'd avoid CamelCase -- I think it's played out at this point.

There is a fourth option that I think you should consider: Naturalstudio (and Naturalstudio Records).

Quincunx's picture

Smallcaps also seem like a good solution, indeed.

DouglasW's picture

CamelCase - I didn't know it had a name. When I first started the company in 1999 I used to use NaturalStudio almost exclusively, but I think it looks really dated now.

A common device is to format the company’s name in a distinctive manner each time it appears: bold, colored, or in a different font, for example. Doing that could alleviate your concerns about having the name at the beginning of a sentence.

Yes - I've experimented with that, but I guess you can't expect everyone to do that. For example, if a naturalstudio release was reviewed in the press, it's unlikely they'd use a specified colour, font or weight.

Smallcaps doesn't quite work for me. Somehow it looks less creative. Also, I think the mix of smallcaps and lowercase doesn't quite work. And again, I expect not everyone would do it.

There is a fourth option that I think you should consider: Naturalstudio (and Naturalstudio Records).

I had considered this, but just thought it seemed a bit front-heavy. A bit imbalanced?

The most important thing for me is consistency. Wherever the name "naturalstudio" appears (except the logo), I would like it to have the same format. I guess the only thing that I can expect all press/publishers to print is Naturalstudio or Natural Studio, right? At the moment, I reckon Naturalstudio & Naturalstudio Records comes out on top...

(It makes me realise what a touch of genius Apple's "iPod" idea was. It looks good in almost any font and has it's own branding.)

Spire's picture

I had considered [Naturalstudio], but just thought it seemed a bit front-heavy. A bit imbalanced?

Perhaps. (I think it looks fine, but I understand what you mean.) However, balance is not that much of a concern unless it's in the context of a logo. Your logo is going to be all-lowercase regardless, so no problem there.

marcox's picture

The all-lowercase conceit is going to look as dated in a few years as InterCaps (as I've seen them called) do now. Avoid the context problems (and the need to change everything again when you redesign the logo) by sticking with good old capitalized, separate words, i.e., Natural Studio.

DouglasW's picture

The all-lowercase conceit is going to look as dated in a few years as InterCaps (as I’ve seen them called) do now. Avoid the context problems (and the need to change everything again when you redesign the logo) by sticking with good old capitalized, separate words, i.e., Natural Studio.

The blunt way in which you put that paragraph has almost instantly converted me. I think you're probably right.

However, I do hope the current logo will last for a good while. I tried to keep it quite generic for this very reason.

DouglasW's picture

OK.

So, it's definitely now between Naturalstudio and Natural Studio.

There are many companies with the conjoined word plus initial capital approach - just looking around my house I can see Microsoft, Hotpoint, Silentnight, Airfix, Bodyform etc.. The good thing with this approach is that if you do a search in Google, you'll probably get what you're looking for - all the results are almost exlusively relating to my company.

However, I think my current logo suggest two different words. Although they are conjoined, the difference in weight reads as natural studio. All the above mentioned companies use one font and one weight for their logos - hence the reason that is remains one word whenever mentioned in copy. I can't imagine my logo changing as it is already well established. If I did modify it, the essence of it would have to remain the same.

The main down side of Natural Studio is that unless you put the words in inverted commas when doing a Google search there are thousands of unrelated links.

Other than the Google issue - does anyone else have any negative thoughts about "Natural Studio". For some reason, it just seems cumbersome to me. Maybe because all my favourite company names are either one word...?

Curious to hear your further thoughts.

Douglas.

PLP's picture

Interesting discussion. I too have been frustrated by the criticism of our company name "väsamed". Despite its stylized appearance in formal documents (see website www.vasamed.com) the matter of dealing with the lack of the expected cap "V" in day-to-day correspondence has been "educational" to put it in as positive a manner as possible. Frequently heard comments: What does it mean? Why do you not capitalize the name? What are the funny dots?" On and on. One benefit I suppose is that these questions and comments equal attention and an opportunity for our team to engage in discussions with customers. The fact that we are a medical company seems to create an urgent need on the part of our customer audience to want grammar and behavior conformance e.g. VasaMed, Vasamed, Vasa Medical, etc. As I said, we have grown to welcome most of the attention since it provides an opportunity to engage customers in a philosophical discussion of our name, its meaning and relevance to our product lines and tie to strategic mission. Most of the time, they get it and like it so much that they advocate keeping it just the way it is. It's fun to hear some of them get into the artistic aspect of it and link it to their medical missions in life. However none of the finance/audit types like our name, the lower case, the umlaut and insist it be changed to something "meaningful and conventional". This continues to be a challenge for us.

ChuckGroth's picture

i'll weigh in with the opinion that it should remain lc throughout. good copywriting can avoid starting sentences with the name:

naturalstudio gives their clients the best widgets available.

can easily be replaced with

When you shop naturalstudio, you can expect the best widgets available.

that's what copy writers are for.

you can also try the consistent formatting technique described above, or simply add the TM mark after the the word.

ChuckGroth's picture

i also think the lowercase conceit idea is worth addressing.

i think the audience is so accustomed to web-surfing, web-commerce and email that it will, in fact, seem very natural to read company names this way.

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