Scene One, Take Two

Earlier we discussed the perils of what happens when trademark conflicts ensue with an existing company name. Even if you are not working in the exact same industry space as your client, a peripheral competitor with a similar name or branding can draw the lawyers out from the woodwork. Look no further than the recent kerfluffle between Apple Computers and Apple Records, the label founded by the Beatles. Despite clear differences in their industry and competitive landscape, Apple Computer sued the record company for breach of trademark. Both companies settled in an undisclosed 2007 out of court settlement with the respective parties responsible for their own legal costs.

Given Apple Computer's deep pockets, however, would you really want to get involved in a war of attrition with their attorneys? Me neither. So with regard to trademark infringement, discretion is always the better part of valor.

Substance was tasked with developing naming, branding, and website development for a new firm providing online solutions for homeowner association. The goal was to empower condo board members and owners with online answers in a subscription-based ecommerce model. The name we originally chose was Portico, the name for a covered patio supported by columns. It evoked not only a welcoming place with a distinctive name, but metaphorically referenced the support provided by the online resources.

After developing extensive creative, we had to go back to square one on naming and brand development. The Portico name was already in use by a condo association in the west. Granted, it was not the same industry as our clients, but as in the Apple example, it's best not to poke the bear.

We are pleased to announce the launch of the new Atrios brand and site.

The name is Latin for atrium and the new brandmark visually references the thematic underpinnings of the Atrios name with the grey doric columns. The negative space between the columns creates a residential house, simultaneously evoking the support that is provided and the audience which is being supported. The colors are warm and inviting, suggestive of the friendly and welcoming editorial approach of the Atrios site.
Changing the name was definitely a curve ball for us and are client, but we are thrilled with the final result and look forward to the site going live in the next six weeks. It's like you were told when you were young, when life gives you lemons, make a limoncello.