ProduceLA leasing brochure created by EBD on a yellow background

The Latest

From Concept to Acclaim: EBD’s 2023 Award Showcase

2023 was another year of remarkable creativity at Ellen Bruss Design. We’re celebrating sixteen awards from competitions held across the nation. As always, thank you to our incredible clients who trusted us to create and grow their brands.

The Frontier Drive-Inn: A Place Branding Project

Welcome to the Frontier, a project that encompasses both the visual and physical articulation of a brand – placemaking. Read more on how we turned a run-down drive-in into a vibrant experiment showcasing art, architecture and hospitality.

Creating A Collaborative Culture

Creating the ideal office environment is something we have worked hard to achieve and maintain. For any business, a positive and collaborative office culture is essential. Here are a few tips and practices that we continue to integrate into our workplace.


April 18, 2023


5 min read

Creating Outstanding Brand Names

Naming places, products and companies can be challenging. There are multiple stressors – from peer pressure to market pressure, to the emotion behind a name. EBD helps to make that process a fun exercise, and a rewarding one. We do this through extensive research, strategy and creativity. Which results in unique, memorable names that help you stand out in the marketplace. In this blog, we’ll give you some insight into the process.

Client Brand Homework

To start, we want to dive into your world. We need to understand the essence of your brand and your vision. The best way to learn this is through your own words, so we ask all our clients to complete our brand homework.

The brand homework covers areas such as your company’s purpose, competition and market. By using thought provoking questions, it helps you define what you stand for and your brand’s personality. It takes a bit of time, but it is worth it. The homework helps identify where you want your company to go and the feeling that you want people to have when they interact with you and your business. These questions help us open the door to your world and build the name from your company’s DNA.  

EBD brand homework breakdown through a graphic
An excerpt from our Brand Homework. In a series of questions, the homework helps you better understand who you are, and what makes you special. Those qualities inform the naming process.

Our Creative Approach

Once we have a better understanding of who you are and what you are selling, we begin our research process. There are no boundaries when it comes to naming, but there are strategic ways to approach it. At EBD, there are a few ways we find the right name for your brand, but we always start by listening to what is truly important to our clients.

Consider the History

History is universal, you can find it within anything. The history of a product or place, be it from past or recent, can give your name a sense of unique connection. We research backgrounds, lore, and old texts. These origins have meaning and relate back to your brand’s purpose. We follow every rabbit hole and do a deep dive.

Milepost Zero logo designed by EBD on a turquoise background

One example of this approach can be seen through our work on the McGregor Square mixed-use development in downtown Denver, with the owners of the Colorado Rockies. Included in this development is a food hall and bar that we named, and branded. In our initial research, we discovered that this location is the exact original center of Denver, literally Milepost 0. We flipped that slightly to Milepost Zero, and the new center of pre and post baseball socializing was born.

ProduceLA leasing brochure created by EBD on a yellow background

We also worked on an office building for Continuum Partners in the arts district of Downtown Los Angeles, whose site was formerly a produce cold storage facility. The area was also filled with orchards in the early years of LA. And its location is where much of the film and TV commercials are produced. Sometimes the use and history just names the project, hence, ProduceLA.

Embrace The Neighborhood

The neighborhood of a condominium, multifamily or mixed-use development is a large part of the selling point for many of our real estate clients. With this is mind, we often take it into consideration to find names that play off the energy, character, and purpose of the area. Through exploring and experiencing the neighborhood, we can better understand what makes the area unique. Often, finding a name that works to highlight a neighborhood’s essence really brings the project to life and sets the stage.

The South Broadway, or SoBo, neighborhood in Denver is an affordable and youthful area in high demand. In working with the Price Development Group to name their multifamily development in SoBo, we knew we needed to build off the neighborhood’s vibrant charm. The name Rye SoBo, along with a hand lettered logo and an energetic palette of orange, blue and turquoise, celebrates the independent spirit of this neighborhood, and tips its hat to the ingredient in beer (and on tap in the building).

A wooden menu board designed for Citizen Rail by EBD.

When naming the restaurant within the Kimpton Hotel Born in Denver, we focused on the unique location. Since it’s located in the hotel and acts as a gathering place that welcomes all, we sought a name that captured that feeling, landing on Citizen. And its location in the Union Station transit hub informed the rest, and the name became Citizen Rail, which seamlessly connected the restaurant with the allure of its surrounding location.

Lakehouse Residence branded keychain, a t-shirt, and towels that read 'Lakehouse.' all designed by EBD.

In the landlocked state of Colorado, lakes are rare. So, when we named NAVA Real Estate’s condominium development at Sloan’s Lake in Denver, it was fitting to call it Lakehouse. Because that is literally what you get – spectacular views and walking access to a large inner-city lake. And with many Denverites harkening from the East Coast and Midwest, this name had a sentimental quality to it, which we showcased in the floatable key chain, beach towels, t-shirts, and baseball hats.

Lean On Your Demographic

Finding a name that will speak to and directly engage your target audience is an essential naming strategy. This includes both the demographic of the neighborhood as well as the specific audience that a brand intends to reach.  

For our recent multi-family project for Quarterra Multifamily in Elmhurst, IL, we did exactly that. We knew that this apartment was going to be positioned as elegant, boutique-hotel style living for a slightly older audience. We discovered the name ‘The Fynn’ for its historical definition, “Name That Means Light.” This historical approach suits the development, audience and reflects the history of the place.

Be One of a Kind

Once we have a solid list of names, we investigate the availability of them.

First, we research the location and industry surrounding the project to confirm that there is no direct competition for any of the names. It’s important for brand recognition that your name can be linked directly back to you and position your company uniquely in the market.   

Then, we look at the local, national, and international (if necessary) trademarks within your industry for each name. This preliminary trademark research helps to identify previous and pending applications. 

Once we narrow the list of names, we also ensure social media handles and website URLs are available. This makes certain that you can obtain a consistent naming presence across multiple touchpoints.

And when we’re at a final name, outside legal resources are engaged to pursue the final trademark. 

Let’s Start This Journey Together

We would love to get to know you and help you with naming, branding, and all your marketing needs. Reach out to us at so we can help you tell your story.