Business naming in the final stretch

See all the suggestions and my reactions to them »

Thanks, everybody! This was incredible.

Here are the five finalists! (There were four, but apparently it’s indecision time.)

I’ve come to recognize that I really, really want a specifically descriptive name — it has to say something about both visual design or graphics and explanation, comprehension, etc. I believe a specialist can get more traction than a generalist these days.

Please share your thought in the comments!
Decision time is tonight (so I can make business cards before heading out to a conference tomorrow).


Oh no! There is an Aha Visual doing similar stuff.






Nicely encompasses both infographics and UI design.

Does “aha” have the right flavor?

Um, clarity, right?

“Information visualization” is a common term, usually abbreviated “infovis.”

Does it sound like a compendium rather than a service?

Very explicit.

Perhaps too much so: will anyone realize I do UI work (which is one of my offerings)?



Visuals seems more contemporary (and sophisticated?) than graphics.


Unambiguous spelling.

Catch hipster attention?


Relates to my other site whose name I like, explanimaton.

I just heard a New York Times journalist say he did “explanatory graphics.”



Many marketing agencies, et al, have “aha” in their name. Many.

The words run together a bit — is it instantly readable?

Sounds 1990s.

Will sound dated soon.

Is that infovis-something or something-island?

Long (many letters to type).


Ambiguous pronunciation (people think of “explain” instead of “explanatory.”

Ambiguous spelling.

Sounds like “expletive.”

Somewhat ambiguous spelling.


visigrok is the shortest name that covers the mashup of visual design with explaining/comprehending. It’s really very clever, which made it a favorite of geeks, including me and Martin. Unfortunately, it uses a term that not everyone, ahem, groks! I showed it to people who knew the word, but it was deep enough below the surface that they stared a while before getting it. Then there’s the associations I do NOT want, with barbarians (Visigoths) or Klingons (given the name’s pronunciation).

As a consolation prize, Miss Congeniality got her domain name reserved by me.

Comments now organized with NEWEST first.

8 Responses to Business naming in the final stretch

  1. Nancy March 2, 2013 at 4:19 pm #

    Feel free to give me reasons to choose a different name than any of these!
    You can see the runners-up — and my thinking — on the supplementary page:

    • Joy Vogelgesang March 3, 2013 at 10:37 am #

      Well, I’m late, but I was going to suggest: graphicsolutions
      Great process you’re using, Nancy!

  2. M. Edward (Ed) Borasky (@znmeb) March 2, 2013 at 5:39 pm #

    I did a Google search on all of them:

    1. ‘ahavisuals’ is definitely out of the running – an IP attorney from will shut you down as soon as he/she discovers you. 🙁

    2. For the same reason, I’d avoid ‘expligraphics’ –

    3. That leaves three: ‘clarigraphics’, ‘infovislandia’ and ‘explanigraphics’. ‘clarigraphics’ might be OK, but Google thinks you’re looking for “Clark Graphics”, which it delivers in spades. So I’d avoid ‘clarigraphics’.

    4. Google gives results for ‘explain graphics’ when you search for ‘explanigraphics’. But it gives you a link to the domain ‘’, which you appear to have registered. 😉

    5. ‘infovislandia’ gives you a blank slate! Google doesn’t know what to make of it. So … that’s the one *I’d* pick – you can make it your own.

    • Nancy March 2, 2013 at 10:37 pm #

      THANK you for the catch on ahavisuals. I might have thought of it if I had more time — because, as you discovered, I usually register alternate spellings. I wish they’d done so!

      And, darn it….

  3. Holly Chamberlain March 2, 2013 at 5:52 pm #

    I still like “infographica.” Easy to say; easy to read — yet interesting. I think it is interesting enough that people would go to a website and find out all your skills. Second is “Explanagraphics.” My mind doesn’t see the cons you identified. I don’t think the pronunciation matters in this case. I agree on the cons of all the others. I too had a fondness for visigrok, but agree with your cons. Perhaps you can be visigrok to close friends. Good luck!!

    • Nancy March 2, 2013 at 8:20 pm #

      Thanks for helping me think, Holly!

      I’d love Infographica, but it’s “parked” — meaning its owner expects to sell it. And it’s good enough a name that they’ll ask $1000s.

      All the cons of explanagraphics were expressed by participants… Probably about 10% of the group, adding the people and complaints together. This could be a red flag… Although having a real site with the name, like this one, probably pulls this feedback out. I have not done the same test with the other names!

      On the other hand, about 10% said ‘keep explanagraphics’!

  4. Katy March 4, 2013 at 7:28 am #

  5. Nancy March 4, 2013 at 2:24 pm #

    And the final decision… is to keep

    There were many names I liked better, but unfortunately I’m late to the domain name party. I’ll note that I’ve owned explanagraphics for a while (without doing anything with it).

    An anecdote…
    I’m at a conference now, and I just met the founder of a 100-person company. I handed him my card and he immediately exclaimed “cool business name!” He also pronounced it correctly, without prompting.

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