NURA. Nura is a good name because it's easy to say, four letters (score) and is doesn't mean anything (at least in English.) Nura is bland and vanilla. But it won't be bland and vanilla in a couple years. Because Nura is an empty vessel, you can fill it up with the meaning you choose. All the creative work done in the future will work to give meaning to this name. So in a year or twos time, Nura can mean music, sound, equalization, quality, strength, cool. . . whatever. The name will start to mean something as you fill up this empty vessel. Think how Google started as just a silly name (and a terrible logo!). Now when we hear the name Google, all kinds of associations, good and bad, come to mind. The brand meaning is yours to create, cultivate and build. But remember, a brand isn't what you say it is, ultimately a brand is what your customers say it is. So be careful to be born well and make sure every touch point a customer has with the name and company are good experiences.
Nurarihyon or Nura
First of all, a brand is not a logo. The term LOGO is short for Logotype, design-speak for a trademark made from a custom-lettered word (LOGOS is Greek for WORD). The term logo caught on with people because it sounds cool, but what people really mean is a trademark, whether the trademark is a logo, symbol, monogram, emblem, or other graphic device. IBM uses a monogram, for example, while Nike uses a symbol. Both are trademarks, but neither are logos. Clear? What really matters here is that a logo, or any other kind of trademark, is not the brand itself. It's merely a symbol for it."
- Marty Neuneier, "The Brand Gap"
For Nura, we want to develop is a simple wordmark (the letters n-u-r-a) and a symbol. These can be used together or separate. For example, on business cards the wordmark and symbol will be seen together, while on the product you may choose to engrave the symbol only. Kodak is an example of a company using a wordmark (K-o-d-a-k) and a symbol. Here's an example of the how these are used together, and alone. Think Twitter feed for the smallest one.
One of my favourite recent logo designs is the pulsating logo for SONOS by Toronto's Bruce Mau Design. Scroll to see it "pulse".
We're currently working on a wordmark and symbol for Nura. Deadline Monday April 18.
Taking the time and budget to do nice, matching portraits of each individual co-founder is an easy way to generate extra credibility. Having good portrait makes you look like you have your act together. Your portrait should make you seem:
• competent • likeable • influential • trustworthy • genuine
Looking attractive and fun doesn't hurt either.
It might cost a few hundred dollars for the team, but a good portrait can be used on Kickstarter, your website, Linkedin, Twitter and if you're single, your online dating app. You'll get a lot of mileage out of your portrait and look better across your whole online presence. This is usually left up to individuals, but it's really in the company's best interest to have each team member looking great, especially in a startup. You are selling yourselves too.
Here's what a good business portrait looks like. For this quality you need:
• studio setup on site or at the photographer's studio
• proper studio flash on a light stand (not on camera)
• the flash is filled in with a reflector or window light
• Grey backdrop is lit to create a gradient
← Do this composition exactly.
• Smiling is good, with teeth is better, but laughing is best.
• Choose a dress code for the entire team. I like to go with a proper suit because why not? But whatever you choose make sure you are all consistent.
Finally, test your portrait at:
Proper Propaganda has you covered for story telling and copywriting. So I'll just offer some general thoughts about copywriting for any new brand.
A mediocre product might need a lot of big-talk around it. But a genuinely good product doesn't need to surround itself with a lot of overused superlatives. If your product is authentic, you can use straightforward language to describe it. It's the audience/customer's job to use superlatives to describe your company or product, not yours.
Avoid these mistakes:
Do talk about hearing. A lot of companies talk about sound, equalization, treble and bass. But I think focussing on the word "hearing" might be a fresh approach.
Read Start With Why by Simon Sinek and you can fire me and do brand strategy yourselves.
Nura is not a headphones company. You're something much bigger.
Currently your WHY is something like "we care about music. . ." but I think you should consider taking a step even further back to say you care about sound and hearing. It's might be more interesting and allow your branding to explore more directions (like acoustic design and event spaces).
Here's your golden circle (under development).
• We care about exploring the relationship between sound and hearing.
• We do that by developing technology. . .
• We're getting started with this pair of headphones.
Office of Product Design: We need photo-realistic product renderings. Rendered on a both a white and a dark background would be nice. If you deliver your source files in layers, I can drop in a different background colours or a desk top scene.
Here's the kind of thing we're looking for:
Any photos of your process can be fun and add credibility to your campaign. We're looking for prototypes, 3D printed parts, circuit boards, life at HAX, manufacturer visits etc.