Two Greek entrepreneurs set out to transform consulting, leveraging the power of the cloud and crowd-sourced data to generate adaptable solutions to business problems in real time. Instantly intrigued by their idea, and the high-octane enthusiasm they brought to the table, we agreed to help advertise and promote their tech start-up. After cycling through three names, thirty logos, two full on commercials, a website design, advertising, and an investor pitch, they’re finally ready to enter the seed round of funding, and start changing the world.
Upon first hearing the idea, we wanted to name the company Pyr, stylized as Pyr-squared. It’s true that puns are almost never the direction to go in but, in this case, we thought we had something good. The one word would capture both the peer-to-peer process of exchange which the company was to leverage for its consulting solutions. At the same time – especially the font we used to draw it – recalled Greek letters, mathematical equations, and, ultimately, fire (in Ancient Greek, πυρο- or “pyro-” as in “pyrotechnics”). All the associated connotations – spark, light, natural, uncontrollable growth – were great too.
And yet, for our clients, it just didn’t have that magical ring. The next name we proposed, Myrmex, was along the same lines. We thought about how the model would turn users into a kind of hive mind, whose computational and constructive horsepower, in aggregate, would far surpass anything which any individual – human or computer – could accomplish. This made us think of ants, which, in turn, got us thinking about ways to make the Ancient Greek word for ants (μυρμος or “myrmos”) sound mathematics- and economics-related. But, again, our clients – even though they were Greek – just weren’t feeling it.
Then came something of a happy accident. When we were designing the “m” to go inside our Myrmex triangle, we typed a lowercase “a,” just as a placeholder to set the initial width. Feeling kind of lazy, we didn’t want to draw up a third different design in one day without having a name set so we started pitching each other on possible company titles which started with the letter “a.” Someone, again circling around mathematics and scholarly languages (this time, Arabic), touched on the word “algorithm.” We all agreed it had good branding power, but that it was too long and generic as is. Fortunately, chopping the word after the “r” and redoubling the “a” sound proved to be a simple fix. We went back to the Greeks bearing the gift of “Algora,” and they loved it.
But with a new name came the need for a new aesthetic. We wanted something which looked clean, but also had a kind of mathematical, line-and-curve charm to it. Additionally, the logo we came up with would have to be worked inside the name, because our clients wanted only one holistic visual which could work on letterheads, website navigational bars, emails, etc… One of the letters would have to be substituted for a logo, and the capital “O” was the obvious choice, because it gave us the best canvas to play with. Incorporating a golden spiral – and basing the typography around logarithmic function curves – pretty much determined what the letters would look like if we wanted everything to look harmonious together. At that point, it was simply a matter of choosing a color scheme.
The purple and gold we started with had a nice distinctive pop, but we just couldn’t get it to look clean enough, so we decided that indigo and a silver gradient would be the way to go.
A close up of that stylized, circular O in the indigo version.