Founder / Creative Director
The founder and master strategist behind Zinzin, Jay has been naming things for a living for over fifteen years. Prior to Zinzin he was the co-founder and creative director for nine years of the naming and branding company Igor, where he led name development projects for DirecTV, DuPont, MGM Grand, Camelbak, Raytheon, Hitachi Medical Systems, TalorMade, GAP, Hasbro, Nokia, Seagate, Turner Network Entertainment, EA Sports and MTV among many others, from large companies to startups. Igor was wildly successful, but Jay decided he wanted to change gears and develop a new approach to naming; thus Zinzin was born. Before naming took over his life completely he has been a web developer, editor, writer and visual artist.
Before Igor, Jay was the Editorial Director at the naming firm A Hundred Monkeys, where he led content initiatives as well as naming products for Nike, Cole Haan, Guidant and Bank of America. Prior to his stint at AHM, he worked on a number of projects with different firms as a freelance naming specialist. In 1998 Jay co-founded and designed the naming and branding community website Wordlab, which is still going strong to this day. Wordlab’s community forums, archive name lists and name generators are the premier source for free naming and branding advice on the Internet, helping small companies, non-profits and individuals with limited budgets find names and taglines for their projects.
Jay has BA degrees in Literature and Art Studio from UC Santa Barbara and an MFA in painting and drawing from UCLA. He is always thinking about names and naming, leads all Zinzin naming projects, and is happy to guide you through the process of creating the killer name for your company or product.
Martin is a master brand strategist with an amazing ability to to use words and images to tell compelling stories. He began his career in advertising as an art director at Campbell Ewald – Los Angles in 1984, where he art directed advertising for Chevrolet, Delco Electronics, Bridgestone, Princess Cruises and Rockwell International; his very first campaign was for the Space Shuttle. Prior to joining Zinzin, Martin was a senior brand strategist at the naming and branding firm Igor, where he worked on projects for Raytheon, among others.
Prior to life in the naming racket, Martin was a creative director at Liquid Agency in Silicon Valley, where he directed brand marketing campaigns for Visa and Intel. That followed a seven-year stint as the design director at Broom & Broom – San Francisco, developing brand identity, digital branding, packaging, marketing collateral and annual reports for National Semiconductor, Seagram, Tektronix, Del Webb, Credence, Standard Pacific Homes and various Silicon Valley Internet enterprises (E*Trade, Excite, Exodus to name but three that begin with “E”). Martin established his own design practice in Portland Oregon in the early 1990s where he worked on advertising, packaging and identity projects for General Dynamics, Mercedes Benz of Portland and the Oregon School of Arts and Crafts. Prior to that he was an art director at AST Computers in Orange County.
Martin received a BFA at the Center For Creative Studies in Detroit Michigan. His work has been featured in Graphis, Communication Arts and American Institute of Graphic Arts design annuals. He is a naming savant who can also visualize anything for us and our clients, seems to remember everything, and surprises us with new stories from his past nearly every day.
As Zinzin’s Operations Director, Betsy makes sure projects are flowing smoothly, all our ducks are in a row, and provides the behind-the-scenes glue that holds Zinzin together, keeping the machine oiled and running, and helping us avoid run-on mixed metaphors like this one. Anybody can fix problems after they happen; Betsy has the uncanny ability to fix problems before they have a chance to become problems in the first place.
In her past work lives Betsy has been the operations manager for a top San Francisco digital post-production house (Varitel), a leading music mastering studio in the heart of Hollywood (Precision Mastering), and a gourmet coffee roasting company (EuroCoffee). She has also worked as a freelance media producer, a production assistant in film and television (Emmy Awards), and as a practicing artist. Oh, and if all that weren’t enough, she’s also a natural namer and can beat everyone here hands down at scrabble and solving crossword puzzles.