In How to be a graphic designer, without losing your soul, Adrian Shaughnessy highlights a simple way of filtering job applicants:
“I’ve received letters in which the writer couldn’t even be bothered to spell my name correctly… it tells me everything I need to know about the individual who wrote the letter – it tells me that the writer couldn’t be bothered to discover the correct spelling of my hard-to-spell name, and it also tells me that I needn’t take this any further.”
I feel his pain. Now I don’t think my name is that difficult, but I may as well change it Daniel Gray-With-An-A given that that’s how I have to introduce myself to people. On top of that, things get complicated by my (what I consider fairly neutral) Thames Estuary accent and my own shortening of my first name. This is a typical telephone conversation:
“Hello caller, what’s your name?”
“Er… no. It. Is. Dan.”
“Oh. Sorry about that Ben.”
By this point the person on the other end of the phone is losing patience with me, as if I’ve chosen to mess them around with my oh-so elaborate name. I pretty much stick to Daniel nowadays.
Whilst trying to think of a name for my portfolio site, I toyed with GrayInk. A bit pun-tastic I know, but not too bad. And then it occurred to me what a pain it would be to communicate to people. “Gray with an A rather than an E and Ink with a K instead of a C. Dot com. Yes, all one word”. Just doesn’t roll off the tongue, you know?