Architecture firm names: What to consider when naming your architectural company
Coming up with inspiring, evocative, and meaningful architecture firm names isn’t as simple as it seems. While many business owners assume the right name will simply hit them when they’re ready to launch their company, choosing a powerful moniker takes time and care.
After all, the right names for architecture firms aren’t just a way for companies to differentiate themselves from competing brands.
A good name also helps you capture your target audience’s attention and share valuable information about your business and what it stands for.
Used correctly, creative names for architects can increase your chances of success in your industry, making your brand more appealing to customers, shareholders, and employees.
The good news is that architecture firms have various options when selecting the ideal title. The only problem is that defining which names will facilitate your success can be easier said than done.
Here’s your step-by-step guide to naming an architecture firm.
What makes a good name for an architecture firm?
So, how do you define great names for architectural firms? There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Great names can come in a range of different styles.
Eponymous names, chosen to represent an architectural firm’s founder, can highlight the credibility and human nature of the business. Invented names showcase innovation and creativity.
Perhaps the most important thing to remember when looking for architecture firm names is that the right title should always be distinctive. Your name shouldn’t sound too similar to any existing company in your market.
Not only will this increase your risk of legal disputes, but it could also mean you end up sending confused customers to your competitors accidentally.
Examine some of the top architectural firms in the market today, and you’ll notice their names, while distinctive, generally have a few things in common. Most of the best names are:
Great names for architecture firms are meaningful. They don’t just tell customers what your business does. They provide insight into your brand personality, your values, and the promise you’re making to your target audience.
A good moniker should make your audience feel something and strengthen their connection to your brand.
Complexity is rarely a good characteristic of a name. You want your name to be short, sweet, and memorable. It shouldn’t be overly difficult to understand, and it should convey meaning in the language of your target audience.
Avoid choosing a name that’s too lengthy or complex for your customers to memorize.
As your business evolves and grows, your name needs to evolve with it.
Choosing a versatile name that doesn’t restrict your company to a specific service or location will allow you to expand easily without having to rebrand. This should ensure you can consistently build trust with your target audience without changing your identity.
What to consider when naming your architectural company
Once you have an idea of what a “good architecture firm name” might look like, the next step is starting your research process. Before you dive into things like brainstorming and creating word clouds, it’s worth making sure you do your homework.
The more work you put into choosing the right name, the less likely it is that you’ll need to rebrand in the future.
Here’s what you need to consider before naming your architecture company:
What type of name do you want to create?
Great architecture names can come in a variety of different styles. It’s up to you to decide what sort of moniker will best represent your brand.
A lot of architectural studio names are relatively traditional. Many companies create their names using the initials of the founder’s last name or the last name of the person who created the company.
For instance, the architecture firm, “SOM,” is named after the initials of its founders, who included Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill. A traditional eponymous name can be a good choice for architectural companies with well-known business leaders.
In some cases, these names can also give your business a more human touch, identifying you as a family-owned or people-centric company. However, they’re also not the most creative or evocative names.
Depending on the style of business you’re building, the best architecture firm names for you may include:
- Descriptive names, which tell people exactly what you do.
- Creative or invented names produced from scratch.
- Compound names that combine descriptive words together.
What type of business are you running?
The ideal architecture firm names for your company will vary depending on a number of factors, including what kind of company you’re going to be running. Architectural firms can specialize in a range of different areas, from Gothic architecture to sustainable design.
Your name can give customers an insight into the type of work you can produce. If you’re a Modernist design company, it makes sense to create a more modern, innovative name. If you create Victorian-style properties, you might want to go for something more evocative and traditional.
Knowing exactly what kind of company you’re going to be running will help you to come up with more related words and phrases you can include in your brainstorming sessions.
Who is your target audience?
Architectural firms can serve a wide range of customers. The exact niche or customer you want to serve can have a huge impact on which names will work well for your business.
A name that sounds authoritative and professional for an architectural company serving the commercial market might seem too stuffy for a company focused on residential space, for example.
Your name should help you to connect with your customers on an emotional level and convince them that your company shares their values.
With this in mind, it might be worth mocking up some user personas you can use to guide your teams when they’re coming up with architecture company name ideas. Step into the shoes of your target customer, and ask yourself what kinds of words and sounds will resonate best with them.
Who are your competitors?
As mentioned above, the best architectural studio names are always distinctive. A unique name will help to differentiate you from the other companies in your industry and make you more memorable to the customers you want to reach.
To ensure you’re coming up with a title that’s specific to you, it’s important to do some competitor research.
Write a list of the architectural companies in your industry and location, focusing particularly on the brands that serve similar audiences to you. You can even use this research to collect inspiration for your own name, provided you don’t produce anything too similar.
It’s also worth making sure you do your due diligence when narrowing down your name options later on by checking that the names you like haven’t already been taken. You can run trademark searches online to see which names are already owned in your industry.
Which words should you avoid?
One of the primary things you’ll need to do when coming up with architecture firm names creates a list of words and phrases that describe and embody your brand. However, it’s also worth knowing which words you should probably avoid.
You might be tempted to use the words “architect” or “architecture” in your name.
However, these words come with legal issues to consider.
You’ll need to ensure you have a registered, chartered, or licensed architect in your business to ensure you’re not going to get into any trouble. Similarly, using a common word like “architecture” in your name could make it harder to differentiate your brand from a range of other companies.
Make a list of the words you absolutely don’t want to include in your name when you’re planning out your naming strategy. This can also include words and terms you don’t want to be associated with.
How to choose an architectural firm name
Now you know what to consider when choosing names for architecture firms. The next step is to start curating ideas. The most common way to start the naming process in any business is to brainstorm.
During the first stages of the naming process, don’t focus too heavily on trying to find the perfect moniker straight away. Instead, give yourself the freedom to write down as many relevant words and phrases connected to your brand as possible.
You can use rhyming dictionaries, thesaurus tools, and even dictionaries in other languages to give you inspiration.
A good way to expand your list of available options is to get more people involved in the brainstorming session.
While you might not want to get every member of your team to share their ideas, working in collaboration with your other C-suite executives and shareholders can give you more perspectives and concepts to work with.
Once you have your brainstormed list:
Go through your list and highlight the words and ideas you like most. Pay attention to anything that really seems to resonate with your company or brand identity. Think about the kind of name you want to create, and ask yourself whether each word matches the style.
For example, long-winded words might not be suitable for modern names.
Check the availability of your names
Next, check to see which names are actually available for you to use. Even if you think your ideal moniker is unique, there’s always a chance someone has already snapped it up. Check online to find out whether any trademarks have already been purchased for a name or a similar title.
Look for available assets
Even if the name you like hasn’t been trademarked, some of the technical assets you’ll need to develop your brand could be taken. Ensure you can purchase the domain name for your company in your business’s name without having to fight for ownership.
It’s also worth checking whether social media usernames are available.
Create mockups and presentations
Creating a name presentation can be an excellent way to examine how your moniker will look in the context of your brand. You could consider working with a designer to create a placeholder logo in the name of your choice, or you could create a range of different logos based on your favorite names.
In your presentation, highlight the core components of each name and what you like about the option.
Collecting feedback can be an excellent way to make sure your architectural studio names will really hit home. Ask members of staff to share their insights on what each name means to them. You could also present your name to your shareholders to get their thoughts and feelings.
Sharing your name with your existing clients is also an option; just make sure you have already secured any trademarks you might need, just in case.
Top tips for choosing architecture firm names
While there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy for choosing the perfect architecture firm names, there are a few tips you can keep in mind to improve your chances of success. These are some of the best “naming hacks” worth thinking about when picking your name:
Make sure it’s original
Do the research and make sure your name is truly unique.
The best, most innovative names for architectural firms have a resounding impact on their target audience and help to differentiate brands. Even if your name isn’t exactly the same as something already being used, it may not be suitable if it’s too similar.
Think about scale
If you’re thinking of one day turning your architectural firm into a global company, it’s worth making sure the title you choose isn’t going to have any different meanings in other languages and cultures. Do your due diligence to avoid any embarrassing mistakes when you decide to scale.
Stay away from overly complex names that are either too long or brimming with punctuation and unusual formatting. Not only will this make it harder for people to find your company when they’re searching online, but it could mean you end up with an awkward-looking logo for your brand.
Test the name
Don’t just look at your name as a word written down on paper, experiment with it. Say it out loud to make sure it’s easy to pronounce and share. Think about what it’s going to look like in URL format and how it will appear when presented on your business logo, letterheads, and other brand assets.
Remember the rest of the brand
Remember that your name is just one part of your overall brand. The right moniker should resonate with your company’s values, vision, and identity. It needs to make sense based on the identity you’re trying to create.
Should I use a name generator for my architectural business?
As you can see, coming up with architecture firm names can be quite a long-winded process. There are numerous stages involved in researching, producing, and selecting the right title.
When you’re keen to start serving customers and building a network of clients, it’s often tempting to look for ways to cut corners. A name generator is just one way you can do that.
Name generators are essentially digital tools that use simple algorithms to suggest potential names for a company. They can seem like a great idea at first, particularly when you’re struggling to come up with ideas.
However, name generators have some serious downsides. They rarely come up with creative titles and instead rely on mashing words together to create “trainwreck” monikers.
It’s also worth noting that most name generators will suggest similar words and ideas for virtually every kind of business. This means you’re more likely to end up with a generic name.
Although a generator can be a good tool if you’re looking for help during the initial brainstorming process, we wouldn’t recommend relying on one to select your official name.
Should I use a professional naming agency?
Although using a name generator generally isn’t a good idea for architectural firms, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a way to speed up and simplify the naming process. If you’re struggling to come up with architecture company name ideas, you can always consider working with a professional agency.
Naming agencies have years of experience in designing highly evocative, emotional, and engaging names for a range of companies.
You can even consider working with a brand that has experience in your specific industry, so you know for a fact they understand what kind of audience you want to reach. Naming agencies don’t just help you to come up with ideas, either.
The right company can create logo mockups to show you what your brand identity might look like from a visual perspective when you choose certain names. They can do research and due diligence on your behalf to ensure your name is scalable, safe, and available to use.
Plus, they can even create presentations you can share with stakeholders.
If you choose a naming agency with experience in branding, they might also be able to help you with other aspects of building your identity, like creating your website, developing brand guidelines, or choosing color palettes for your logo.
Examples of good architecture company names
Sometimes, the easiest way to start coming up with architecture firm names is to examine the marketplace. Although you should never choose a name too similar to something owned by a competitor, looking at successful architecture companies can give you some much-needed inspiration.
Here are some great examples of architecture names from the world’s biggest brands:
A design and architecture firm founded in 1965, Gensler is now one of the biggest companies in the industry.
The brand is named after the founders, Art and Drue Gensler. This simple and flexible name has evolved with the brand through the years, even though the leaders of the Gensler brand are no longer within the Gensler family.
The word “Aedas” actually means an industrious or purposeful undertaking. It comes from the Latin word aedificare, which means “to build.” This makes this title a highly evocative and meaningful choice for the Aedas architectural firm in China. The title is memorable, emotional, and unique.
Like many memorable architectural firm names, the word “Stantec” comes from the name of the company’s founder, Don Stanley.
The moniker combines the name “Stan” with “Tec” for technology. It’s a fun and memorable name, which helps to give the company a more human and compassionate vibe.
Selecting the best architecture firm names
Choosing the right architecture firm names can be a complex process. It takes time to sort ideas, develop unique words to describe your business, and select a special name. However, choosing the right name can make a world of difference to the success of your brand.
Perhaps more than anything else, your name will tell customers what they can expect from your company and provide insight into your brand personality. The right moniker should always be compelling, evocative, and specific to your business.
If you’re struggling to select the best architecture firm names, the best option might be to consider working with a professional. An experienced naming agency will help you sort through your choices carefully and select the name most likely to generate growth.
Fabrik: A naming agency for our times.
We’ve made our name famous by naming other businesses.
Get in touch if you have a company, product, or service that requires a unique name. Click below, and let’s start a conversation today!
Now read these:
—The steps to starting an architecture firm
—Essential marketing strategies for architects
—Branding considerations for architect firms
—Your guide to architecture firm logo design
—The ultimate list of architecture firm logos