The thing that amazed us most, when it came to naming our theater company, was how many names were already taken by other theater companies. It certainly was a case of great minds think alike….
Virtually everything we triumphantly proposed as just perfect was a secondhand idea.
Before we had even started trying to choose a suitable name we assessed what sort of plays we were likely to produce. We had all agreed we wanted to focus on topical content, based on news stories and current affairs, examining provocative and controversial events from innovative and interesting angles.
So our first thoughts included Provocateur; Insomniac; Flashpoint; Limelight, Highlight, any light!; TheaterWorks; Next Generation; Agenda; Nomad; Rebel; Horus; Third Eye; Guerilla Theater Company, although we dropped that because it was a genre of theater, as no doubt many others had before us, as there were numerous versions of Gorilla Theater Company already in existence. We had liked that one too and had devised a cracking logo BEFORE we did the Google search.
Basically everything we tried we couldn’t have.
So we switched tack and considered something more alliterative, or amusing, which we hoped would be just as memorable as one of our personal favorite names, Bad Robot.
We considered Spotted Meerkat; Rude Baboon; Crying Joker; Silent Echo; Big Dog, or Bad Dog or Black Dog (we had one!). Black Cat would do at a push. We were getting desperate!
One of us suggested Hallam Theater Company after the first full professional theatre company in the US, set up by William and Lewis Hallam in 1753. Lewis was the first ever actor-manager setting a trend. It would have been interesting for marketing but Hallam just sounded dull.
Established theater company names like the Elevator Repair Service encouraged us to step well outside the box. But we favored a one-word name; a single word brand identity.
We were mindful that we needed something which could make a great logo; a logo which was not only attractive and memorable, but as intelligent as we wanted the content of our plays to be, and something which could look good on a T-shirt or phone cover, because it was obvious from our budget projections that concessions would play a big part in our money-making possibilities. We needed something people might like to wear or carry without even knowing it was a theater company.
After much bickering, it finally came down to a decision between Luminar or Whistleblower. The meaning of Whistleblower was obvious; enlightening people with what someone felt they needed to know. Luminar was simply a word we liked, which sounded like it meant shedding light on issues but actually meant “a celebrity who was an inspiration to others”. Well, we hoped to be in the end. But there was already a Lumina.
The popular vote settled on Whistleblower. It was such a relief to find something we could have and we all liked, and there was a website and Facebook name available too. It allowed us to start brainstorming logos. There were many iterations, led primarily by zipped and unzipped whistles which did the rounds of several designers. The end result though was what you see here; a homemade logo made on a word-cloud web site, using a google image outline of a phantom mask – which looks a bit like a quill too to this ardent playwright – made up of all the inspirational words we wanted our particular kind of entertainment to represent, but also the actions we felt one should take to live a full, active and involved life. Total cost: $1. Well at least frugal was how we intended to go on………