Orangefiery: what’s in a name?
Two men sit across from each other at a table, one of them turning a white and orange business card over in his fingers.
– What’s with the name?
– Do you like it?
– It’s different.
– When I tried to come up with a name for the company, I was looking around for inspiration. I grabbed my copy of my favorite book, James Joyce’s Ulysses.
– And I found this passage describing communications between two characters. It used the word orangefiery, which immediately jumped off the page at me.
– Joyce’s lexicon is the stuff of legend. I thought about orangefiery as a name and I thought it was perfect. As a word, it was unique, distinctive and stood out. And it had a certain classic quality.
– And then there is Ulysses itself, which is arguably the greatest novel ever written. An epic narrative built on another epic narrative.
– With tons of fascinating metaphors and stylistic changes and social commentary woven in.
– All of which is the point I’m trying to make. Great communications is rooted in both art and science. It’s not a whim of the moment, something created by digital technologies — those are just enablers, albeit important ones.
– For example, ‘orangefiery’ is in a passage called the Cyclops episode. And in Homer’s Odyssey, on which it’s based, the character is a warrior who falls off a roof and dies, but who comes back from the afterlife because he wants Odysseus to say the warrior died in battle, an honorable death.
– A kind of PR for the non-martyr.
– Sort of… and then Joyce’s Cyclops episode is fascinating. It’s a stinging social commentary on narrow-mindedness—err, Cyclops. In it, Leopold Bloom is trying to appeal to reason against a man who is spouting nationalist rhetoric, which many scholars say is about Joyce’s own views as a younger man—and how as a grown up, he regrets his youthful willfulness.
– So, Joyce is saying he’s grown up?
– And the particular section where Joyce uses the word orangefiery is a parody of a then-contemporary strand of Dublin intellectualism called Theosophy. Fancy stuff. Which Joyce was mocking it by writing in the sort of style that they used in their newsletters.
– So, this thing has many meanings to it.
– Exactly. Multiple meanings and layers. Joyce once famously stated that he had put so many enigmas and puzzles into Ulysses, it would keep the professors busy for centuries arguing over what he meant.
– So you liked it.
– I thought there was a lot to it. A lot I could relate to about personal growth, about standing by principles, and about having both creative and strategic purpose in what you say to your audience. And fundamentally, it was a beautiful, descriptive word that stood out in the crowd and connected two people. Sender to recipient. Message, received.
– What’s with the logo?
– I was working with a friend of mine who is a fantastic designer, and when I was trying to explain the inspiration for the name, I said I wanted to convey something literary that was not a blazing fire, but the spark of an idea.
– And this is what he came up with.
– I like it.
– That’s a long way of saying, I did not name the firm orangefiery because I am a ginger with a temper.
– What do you think?
– I like it. I really do. Good luck.