A little over eighteen months ago Andrew and I struck a deal. As we were both independently working on freelance projects, why not throw all those jobs into one basket and tackle them together? We figured that with two of us working on every project we’d be able to build off each other’s individual talents to quickly diversify our results. It would also gave us a competitive advantage over independent freelance designers for the simple reason that our clients were getting a ‘buy one get one free’ kind of deal.
The name just fell out. No market research or long brainstorming session, just one phone conversion where we realised our first name initials spelled the word ‘at’. From that moment we were AT Design.
A few months down and AT Design was really starting to take off. We had a really strong collection of not just design work, but well-rounded, brand development, case studies. Our clients were changing from one off purchases to long standing relationships. We knew that we were offering something more than just design.
At this point we decided to push our business properly, and do to ourselves what we were offering our clients. We branded.
Over the next few weeks we crafted our visual identity. The signature vibrant yellow, a modern but simple sans serif and a unique geometric @ for our logo. This rolled out into our stationery, presentations, business cards, social media channels and website. Oh, and we changed our name from AT Design to AT Branding to better reflect the business service we were offering.
AT Branding was now a professional creative collective – working with businesses in South Wales, South West England and London. As projects got larger we starting collaborating with other designers, developers and illustrators to provide even more diverse case studies.
However, in our experience a brand is always changing and growing, and the name AT Branding really had a glass ceiling. From an SEO point of view, it was bad. Any company that even said ‘we are good at branding’ could potentially sit higher than us on Google when even searching our name. Plus, we could do better than just our initials, surely? If we wanted to be a serious player, we needed a name change.
Remember that brainstorming session we didn’t have before? Well this time we did it, and we had a great idea. We loved our @ symbol and we knew that other glyphs had official names (& for example being called an Ampersand), so what was the @ symbol actually called?
In turns out to not be that straight forward an answer. In fact, there are several names across several languages including ‘commercial at’, ‘arroba’, ‘asperand’, ‘ampersat’ and ‘strudel’. However, none of these really felt right. ‘Ampersat’ sounded too close to ‘ampersand’ and ‘asperand’ just sounded like ‘ass brand’. But there was one that did stand out, the French term – ‘arobase’.
With a new name sparked a new era for our business. To coincide with the new name we are now launching a brand new feature to our website – ‘Base’. This will be our evergrowing hub of (sometimes mental) ideas, collaborations, blog posts, new stories, collections and, well, anything else we think of. So far you’ll be able to read our blog and take in a throwback of the month just passed, but there will be new updates happening all the time, so definitely keep checking back!
So today we say a warm goodbye to AT Branding, and open the door to Arobase.