Identity Crisis

naming your business

Coming up with names has never been something that I consider myself especially good at. I’m pretty literal, so even in my childhood I called my grandparents “Grandma” and “Grandpa”, and one of my favorite stuffed animals was called “Pink Bear”. I’ll leave it up to your imagination what that particular toy looked like.

I now avoid naming things unless I have to, but it’s looking like the time has come for me to put an official name on my business. It’s something I’ve thought about for a while – I think it’s confusing that I’m a freelance designer without a business name, my blog is just called Alison Citron, which can be confusing if/when people want to link to me, but then I have Love Citron for my stationery design work. I’d rather have everything under one all-encompassing umbrella, and I’d rather NOT have it be called Love Citron. Love Citron is fine for wedding stationery, but it doesn’t translate so well to annual reports and websites.

The idea of having a brand that’s just sort of ever-evolving, as opposed to doing a specific ‘rebrand’ and rolling it out every once in a while, is super appealing to me. I’m not too worried about changing the name of anything just yet because my website addresses will in all likelihood remain the same. Just because I made a decision off the top of my head a year ago doesn’t mean I should be stuck with it for all eternity in the interest of staying consistent. I am always evolving, so my online presence should too, right?

The problem is, I have total and complete namer’s block when it comes to picking a new name. I don’t want to just do ‘Alison Citron Designs’, or have the word design in it at all, actually. I’d rather not have an ‘s’ sound because (this is kind of embarrassing) I have a slight lisp in real life, so why thet mythelf up for failure? (Not that I’m sensitive).

So… does anyone have any ideas for me? Any suggestions on how to settle on a name? If you have a business, how did you settle on a name for it? Is there a business equivalent of a baby name book out there that I just don’t know about?

  • Nathan

    I think it comes down to what the norms are for your industry. Do most independent designers use their names as their brand or do they come up something new?

    With a name as short and easy to remember as yours, I’d say just use that. I think it’s going to be more professional than anything else could be.

    You might take a look at He has a blog and does design and is able to get by with just his name.