Searching for a company name was a truly agonizing process! There are the obviously choices, such as “Larson Architecture” or the age old architecture firm technique of using initials of the founders. Both of those options seemed overdone and boring—too obvious. I am in the design field. I am supposed to be creative. I wanted a name that shows my creativity; a name that had a deeper meaning….
This is where a little background information is needed. I am a musician. Prior to changing majors to interior architecture, I was studying music. My entire childhood was not filled with sporting events—it was filled with band concerts, private lessons, and ensembles. In my early twenties, I decided that I did not want music to be my full time job. That is when the switch happened between music and architecture. Even though I have now chosen architecture as my career, I still have a deep love for music, and still play bassoon in Salem Philharmonic Orchestra. Because music has been such an important part of my life, and is a deeply rooted part of who I am, I searched for a name that could encompass that.
I played around with the idea of unison….”two or more musical parts sounding the same pitch or at an octave interval, usually at the same time.” To me, what I hoped to portray about my skill set is that I bring together architecture, interior design, and project management, into one cohesive, well-executed project. The idea of unison seemed to work…multiple parts coming together on one pitch. Unison Architecture became my top choice, and in the end, my runner-up. It was good, but didn’t seem just right. I wasn’t sold on it.
One day, while having lunch with a friend, she mentioned the word “varitone”. In the architectural world, varitone is what Mutual Materials names their brick when it comes in a variety of shades —Red Varitone, Brown Varitone, etc. We wondered if varitone was an actually term or just a color name they came up with. Upon doing a little more research, we were pleasantly surprised! The definition of Varitone, per Wikipedia, is as follows: “The Varitone was a woodwind pickup and effects unit, allowing direct amplification of the instrument (i.e. without a standard microphone) and the introduction of various electronic effects. It was marketed in 1967 by the Selmer Company, which developed units for flute, saxophone, and clarinet.” Varitone is also used to describe varied color—wood grains, brick, photography backdrops, etc. In reading this definition, I immediately knew this was it! A word that had meanings related to both music and to color. It was the perfect fit and I knew it was the name I had been searching for.
From there, my slogan seemed obvious. “Architecture. Amplified.”