Global Printed Photo Products Brand
PROJECT: Rebrand a global photography and design company specialising in producing museum quality books, albums, canvases, frames, cards, and calendars.
ZNO: Zno (pronounced ZEE-no) is an abstract, invented name inspired by the pre-Socratic Greek philosopher Zeno of Elea, famed for his paradoxes.
BRAND POSITIONING: Artisan State was formed in 2012 by five friends living in the San Francisco Bay Area with a common passion for photography and design. Over the next few years the company grew to become the biggest flush mount album maker in the world. The company eventually expanded its product line to include brochures, calendars, canvases, cards, frames, photo gifts, posters and prints. Explosive growth, a broader portfolio of digital printing products, and rapid global market expansion led the company to reexamine the effectiveness of its brand.
Artisan State approached us to create a name that would better reflect the company’s new brand aspirations, philosophy, and vision. During our initial discussions, the client’s marketing team outlined the three essential requirements for this re-branding initiative: 1) the name needed to work globally and be easily understood by their customers in 127 countries, many of whom do not speak English; 2) the client had a strong preference for a very short — preferably three or four characters — abstract name that could easily become a recognizable visual icon on their products and packaging; and 3) the brand name’s exact-match .com domain name had to be available for purchase.
The new brand needed to evoke the company’s commitment to innovation, quality, and value, as well as the hybrid digital and analog production experience. After exploring several conceptual approaches, we focused on a short list of names that mapped to the brand concepts of creativity, beauty, light, and energy. Within this framework we developed a number of names the client considered to be strong candidates, but one, Zno, perfectly re-positions the company as a global brand focused on all things visual and digital. Zno is a cool name with a great look, sound, and feel. The allusion to Zeno’s paradoxes maps to the “paradox” at the core of Zno’s business: how can we sell custom printed photo books that are higher quality, less expensive, and are delivered more quickly than any competitor product? The answer is Zno, a company committed to making all things beautiful.