Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Silly brand names and pier views

click photo to enlarge
The other day I was idly thinking of silly brand names for ranges of clothing and I came up with two short lists. The first group of names are deliberately brief and not so sweet - DIVOT, THUNK, GAWK, CRUD, and SWAT. The second set are quirky - SYNONYM, OFF THE WALL, LEFT FIELD, HIGH HEAVEN and FIG LEAF. I think some of these names could definitely make it out there in the market place: they're certainly no worse than some of the ludicrous examples I've seen printed across the bosoms, backs and rear ends of shoppers on the local high streets.

My current holder of the silliest clothing brand name is, I think, BENCH, although I'm no expert on this subject and there are doubtless dafter ones to be found. It took me a while to work out that this was a brand name at all, so large were the letters on some of the items of clothing, and initially I thought the wearers were employed by a company of that name. And in a way they were - to advertise on their behalf, but for zero wages, for which they're likely to have paid a price premium! It wasn't always like this. Brand names used to be discreet or completely invisible, and drew their inspiration from the manufacturer's name(s), the place they were made, or latterly by the use of a simple proper noun. Today names are "designed" by companies that specialise in branding, though ultimately they do little more than I did and simply pluck a few words from a thesaurus. Moreover, we've moved on from nouns into other parts of speech. In fact it was this that prompted today's reflection. I was wondering what title to give to this post and the phrase "view from" popped into my head. Then I remembered that I've seen sports wear (or at least sporty leisure wear) with that brand name. Who on earth thought up "VIEW FROM" as a brand name? And why did it get any farther than that person's first utterance of it? Perhaps because in a world where a book store can be called Amazon, a bank can be called Egg, a new video-on-demand platform can be called Qriocity (it deserves to fail for its name alone), and a re-arranged expletive (F.C.U.K.) can be used as a brand name to sell clothes, then clearly anything goes.

Today's photographs show Southwold Pier viewed from the beach, and Southwold and the area of beach from which I took the first shot, seen from the pier. The first photograph was taken around midday, and the second at about 10.00a.m. Piers are good vantage points for shots of seaside towns, and of course, make good subjects in themselves. Here, to illustrate that point, and for comparison, are two "views from" featuring Blackpool's Victorian North Pier - the Tower seen from the pier, and the pier seen from the promenade.

photograph and text (c) T. Boughen

Photo 1 (Photo 2)
Camera: Olympus E510
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 22mm (44mm/35mm equiv.) (36mm (72mm/35mm equiv.))
F No: f5.6 (5.3)
Shutter Speed: 1/1250
ISO: 100 (100)
Exposure Compensation: -0.7 (-1.0) EV
Image Stabilisation: On