What’s in a name?

Mike Pinnington dives into the murky waters of brand definition…

On entering the fraught world of launching a website the last thing you consider, if you’re us that is, is just how pained a process naming the damn thing will be. How to manage perceptions and how to pitch those connotations just right?

Don’t get us wrong, we didn’t want it to be an exercise in semiotics, but nor did we want to end up with a name along the lines of Liver-cultured (which sounds like a pro-biotic breakfast drink). But when you suggest ‘allthebestnamesaregone.com’, and are seriously considering the use of cut-ups (the technique employed by William S Burroughs and heroin-era Bowie to manufacture lyrics), you know fuzzy-logic and desperation – maybe we should have called it that – are just around the corner.

In the end The Double Negative was pulled out of the air somewhat, but it had something the others didn’t, in that it actually had anything at all. At this point, we were so exhausted that our sense of relief was enough to convince us we’d hit upon the ‘one’.

“The Double Negative’s mission if you will is to hold a mirror up to the creativity of the city and reflect it”

On reflection though, we found it satisfied some criteria for our ‘vision’ of the site (get us!); it implies a certain pleasing duality; not only being the technique used in photography to achieve a layered effect (which Co – Editor Laura had utilised at university), and a reference to wordplay, it also has an air of pretension about it, and frankly, we’re the last people to be fearful of such a suggestion.

However, it is this allusion of layers that eventually confirmed it. What The Double Negative represents, and the purpose we wish it to serve is as a forum, a hub if you like, where the layers of talent in this city can be drawn together in an eclectic showcase for the benefit of all – to be read by and for these people, and beyond.

The Double Negative’s mission if you will is to hold a mirror up to the creativity of the city and reflect it, in doing so uncovering and exposing the best of the city and the talent its people have to offer, fulfilling a need we feel is currently lacking in one way or another.

Sitting here now, ready to press the big red button marked ‘launch’, I couldn’t imagine it being called anything else. It has developed a life and a meaning if its own. So love or hate the name, embrace the site, engage with us and then sit back and watch out for the results, it’ll be worth all our whiles!

Mike Pinnington

Illustration by Jon Barraclough

Posted on 12/12/2011 by thedoublenegative