The history of a name
A name can have a very direct meaning, like Volkswagen, which is literally a car for the people. Alternatively, it can have a derived meaning, like Google. As a purposeful misspelling of googol, which stands for a 1 with 100 zero’s, Google symbolizes the huge quantities of data its founders aimed to make available to everyone. Lastly, there are names that just sound great. One of the most famous examples is Alibaba. During a New York visit Alibaba’s founder Jack Ma realized Alibaba is a name everyone is familiar with, and it has a great ring to it. At the very least, the Sesame Open reference resonated with shoppers, who opened their purse to the tune of more than 25B dollars during last Singles’ Day alone.
Why the name Lepaya?
Mid-2017 the time had come to name the venture we had been working on. This being 2017, we started with the need for an available dot-com registration, already disqualifying a staggering 130M+ more (and less) common names. Secondly, never settling for anything less than great, we wanted a name that had significance as well as a catchy sound! For the first part we chose for LEP which stands for Learning Experience Pathways.
To create a name with a nice ring to it, we added aya to LEP. In Japanese aya is a female name meaning beautiful (あや, アヤ), and in Arabic it means wonderful ( آية ). Adding the two up gives Lepaya: wonderful, beautiful learning journeys!
As soon as we had our name, we realized that just a name isn’t enough. Even a start-up without business cards and (at that point in time) without a website, needs a logo. Our philosophy for Lepaya and all Lepaya products and materials is based on three simple characteristics:
1) Fun — because learning is always important but never urgent. Making learning fun will increase engagement.
2) Analytical — because any learning solution needs to actually be pedagogically sound and teach relevant content, ideally while maximizing learning with minimum effort.
3) Easy to use — because spending time and effort learning how to use a learning solution seems counterintuitive and therefore should be avoided at all costs.
When thinking about fun, analytical and easy to use a toddlers’ box jumped to mind, with its multi-shaped holes on all sides through which small and colorful shapes need to fit. An impactful learning game, living up to all our three characteristics. The box itself gave way in the design process, resulting in a beautiful, clean logo.