Gee Whillickers!

Inside the Heart of a Symbol

The heart symbol is as old as the Cro-Magnon hunters living in Europe before the last Ice Age, though its meaning is as silent now as the cave walls it was scrawled upon.

The symbol is well known throughout the Western world as a sign for affection, togetherness or love, as well as the actual act of lovemaking. As you would expect, symbologists make this conclusion when presented with the arrow-through-heart symbol; the arrow representing such concepts as flow, directed energy and penetration.

It is probable that the sharply tapered heart symbol began as a more rounded pictorial sign representing the heart of a man or an animal.

In Sweden, the symbol is associated with the posterior and defecation, as it is an old sign for “a toilet for both sexes.” Talk about a translation nightmare.

Today, the heart is a rogue symbol of sorts as it does not technically appear in any established sign system (personalized license plates do not qualify). Odd, since it is the very representation of the international language: love.


This Just In…

Rigney Graphics Designs the 2006 Tournament of Roses Website.

Rigney Graphics again had the honor of designing the website for the Pasadena Tournament of Roses, upgrading our previous design with a total transformation.

Click here to visit the new site!


Gee Whillickers!

Brand Name Origins

Volvo®
Latin for “I roll” — please note that this auto maker started out making ball bearings.

Pepsi®-Cola
The “Cola” comes from the cola nut ingredient (and influenced by Coca-Cola®). It was originally promoted as relief from dysPEPSIa, which is a fancy name for indigestion. DYS = poor and PEPSIA = digestion in Latin.

Sony®
The electronics giant gets its name from the Latin son meaning “sound.”

Nivea®
This beauty cream comes from the feminine form of Latin niveus meaning “snowy.”

Dr. Pepper®
The inventor mixed together 23 soda fountain ingredients and named his creation after his first employer.

Frisbee®
Pie tins used by the Frisbie Bakery in Connecticut were thrown in the same manner as the toy.

Castrol®
This motor oil was originally based on a derivative of castor oil (from castor beans).

Mazda®
Mazda is the Persian god of light. The reason? Hey, its a god’s name, does it need one?

Lego®
The building toy’s name came from the Danish leg godt meaning “play well.”

Ovaltine®
The drink mix, as a Swiss product, was originally spelled Ovumaltine for “egg-malt”—using the Latin “ovum” for “egg.”

Adidas®
Adolph Dassler was called Adi by his friends. Attach the first three letters of his last name and you have his product’s name.

Brillo®
The polishing pad’s name is a spin-off of “brilliant” (not the Italian “brillo” meaning drunk!)

Häagen-Daz®
The ice cream name is a total fabrication that was picked because it “sounded foreign.”


Gee Whillickers!

Household Name?

In the 19th century, parents named their kids Ruby or Opal and other such names as a reflection of their aspirations and hopes. Ah, you can probably already see where this is going.

Some brand names that have been used recently in naming children (for real):

Don’t worry, Del Monte, someday the spit wads will probably all be aimed at a new kid named Microsoft® or DeBeers.

Armani™
300 girls start their signature with this brand name.

Canon®
49 boys were named after the camera. Say cheese!

Celica
five girls are named after the Toyota® sports coupe. Oh, what a feeling!

Chevy
55 boys stop picking their noses when their mothers bark this car company’s name.

Courvoisier®
the name of a cognac and apparently now the name of six boys.

Del Monte®
seven boys stare at their own name in the canned fruit aisle.

Infiniti™
22 girls are luxuriously named after this car.

L’Oreal®
an unknown number of girls answer to this brand name.

Timberland®
six kids got this shoe and apparel name, all boys of course.

And finally, there are actually two boys, one in Michigan and one in Texas, called ESPN®.