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Choosing A Maker's Mark Or Maker's Name

Discussion in 'Making Your Mark' started by Chezzetcooker, Aug 15, 2017.

  1. Chezzetcooker

    Chezzetcooker New Member

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    I'm trying to decide on a maker's name or "company" name for my knives. I don't make many knives yet but I have sold most of what I have made and I can see myself getting more involved as time goes on. I would like to have a maker's mark on the blades but I'm unsure as to whether it should be a company name or my personal name. I like the idea of using my personal name (even though it's incredibly boring lol) because it's cool to think that it would be on a knife for all to see for possibly decades after I'm gone. It's a kind of legacy I suppose. I also like the idea of using a company name. I have a couple I'm tossing around but with a company name there is no family name legacy associated. I'm torn. Does anyone else have any thoughts or ideas on this? When it came time for you to make that jump how did you decide what to go with?
     
  2. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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    Ah so many choices.

    My old mentor suggested that someone should be able to find you by looking at the mark. I think this line of thought is why so many makers include the state or province or country either written or in symbol in their mark. The is a risk there though. What if you move? Having an outline of Alberta when you now live in Ontario would look kind of odd right? So you may want to decide on a mark that won't need to change over time.

    I too, put a lot of thought into my mark. I use my name, but only my first initial so it could also be my kid's name. Maybe there is some legacy value there. I also included the knife symbol which says what I do and the maple leaf which is geographic information, but not localized to one region.

    [​IMG]

    Fortunately, my name is not so common. I just tried a Google of "smith knives" and a whole bunch of makers named smith come up.

    Some makers use a symbol instead of words or letters, like a cattle brand or what the artist formerly known as Prince did...hmmm we all know how that worked out. Symbols are not so easy to search for (at present).

    If you have a business like "Hammer Time Forge" or "XYZ Tacticals" the mark will be more transfer friendly to future owner, however you need to do your research and pick something that's not already in use; much like a new corporation will do a NUANS search to see if anyone else is registered using the same name.

    Another option, although it can be tough, is to create a new word and reduce the likelyhood of someone having the same name. I used the word "Sayber OSG" as my new grinder with this very thing in mind. Portmanteau words that combine two or more words to make a new one are always fun. Like Block and Chocolate become Blocolate.

    Another trick is to refer to some olde tyme archaic variation of a word.

    Know any Gaelic?

    That's all I got. Back to work Dan.
     
  3. Chezzetcooker

    Chezzetcooker New Member

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    Ha! :) You would think that I should know some Gaelic but despite Celtic roots I'm originally from Ontario. :)

    Wow, I really appreciate your input on this! I was just on your web site and I gotta say I don't think I've seen so many knife crafting resources in one place. Very comprehensive! I will be bookmarking and visiting often. Some great thoughts in your response - thanks Dan!
     
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  4. Mythtaken

    Mythtaken Staff Member CKM Staff

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    The answer is in how you want to use your mark. Some maker marks are added as personal identifiers, like an artist signing her work. It doesn't matter if it says nothing to the end user. Of course, if the knifemaker becomes quite famous, that squiggle or image says as much as a name and address.

    For other makers, the mark is part of a branding scheme. It doesn't matter if you use your own name or a company name, you're still putting it out there as a business entity.

    I favour creating a company name, if your goal is marketing a brand. "Carl Weathers Knives" works as company name, but there could be other Carl Weathers out there to muddy the brand recognition -- worse, if one of them becomes a well known cereal killer (Weetabix must die o_O). There's also the problem that comes if you take on a partner. Neither of you may like your name on knives he makes. And finally, it can easier to sell an established knife making enterprise that doesn't use your name as the identifier.
     
  5. Chezzetcooker

    Chezzetcooker New Member

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    I thought you were going to say Apollo Creed would show up on my doorstep and punch me out for using "Carl Weathers Knives" lol. *groan*

    Great points, thank you for your input. :)
     
  6. Kevin Cox

    Kevin Cox KC knives

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    I use my initials and added a bit then used it as my company name. I added a logo with it . I think what ever you use people will find you after you start useing it all the time.
    Turning knife making into a business is good but there is a down side . I've been happy for the last few years doing my knives on my spare time and selling them in my company name and claiming them on my taxes . But by no means I can live onto it. This July I got laid off from my job and now I can't get employment because I have a company number and self empolyed . Even if you don't sell any they say your working onto knives so that's work and a income.
    So be careful turning things into a Company.
     
  7. Chezzetcooker

    Chezzetcooker New Member

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    Geez that sucks about not getting EI - I assume that's what you mean. Things are so strange in this country. A guy can fish lobster here in NS for a few weeks and make 10s of thousands of dollars and then collect EI and yet a fella like yourself gets laid off and they nail him. Good advice man, thanks!
     
  8. Kevin Cox

    Kevin Cox KC knives

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    Yep sucks and yes I was talking about EI . The crab fishermen do the same up here . I guess they just want you to sit and your butt and do nothing. I guess I might have to take my knife make up a notch .
     
  9. Chezzetcooker

    Chezzetcooker New Member

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    One of those stupid sayings I see around all the time ... "when life gives you lemons make lemonade" lol. Like you said there may be no better time than to ramp up the knife production. :)
     
  10. Kevin Cox

    Kevin Cox KC knives

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    Very true I think I'll add ice and gin to that mix hahaha.with a splash of tonic :)
     
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  11. ToddR

    ToddR Putterer, Tinkerer, Waster of Time Staff Member

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    I was asking a similar question earlier. I approached it like this, i wanted to come up with how I was going to "name" my knives. All i really had in mind was that i'm a dog person (not actually half dog/half man - just love dogs - i don't actually "love" dogs....) so i wanted it to be dog related. I decided I'd name my knives after canines. The Pitbull, The Timberwolf etc. From that, i figured I'd have to name the co. along the same lines. I reseved the domains, AlphaDog.ca and ThreeDogKnife.ca etc. But I haven't researched whether co's exist using these names or not.

    Anyway, for me, it was more about the knife "names" and then figuring out a brand or mark that made sense. I figure my mark is going to be a paw print.

    But, I'm also a bit of an oddball so...
     
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  12. Chezzetcooker

    Chezzetcooker New Member

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    I like ThreeDogKnife.ca ... very cool idea!
     

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