Instant naming: just add writer

Mike Reed
28 October 2016

Earlier this year I was at the Brand Nieuwe Conference in Amsterdam – the inaugural European cousin of the US-based Brand New Conference. (Laura and I were at that one too. I might find time to write it up soon, you never know.)

Over a beer there, I met Maarten Janssen, one half of design team Janssen & Valkenberg. (Or Valkenberg & Janssen, depending which one you speak to – a nice twist).

Maarten told me about J&V’s new self-initiated project: helping people learn to cook by turning recipes into graphic diagrams.

As Maarten put it: ‘You don’t build an IKEA flat-pack from an essay. So why should recipes only be written as text?’

They’d already worked out a graphic system for the recipes, which takes on a shape reminiscent of the sort of Wild West cactus you see in Warner Bros cartoons.

cooktus_rijst_sardientjes_hq

Everything about it was great – except the name.

Maarten and his partner, Fabian, had called their brand ‘Cook O’Graphic’. But they knew it wasn’t right. It was complicated, hard to remember – and had an entirely irrelevant hint of the Irish about it. Maarten asked if we had any better ideas.

cooktus_pasta_venkel_hq

The answer was there in the shape of the recipes, of course.

Cook + Cactus = Cooktus.

Simple, unique and – wonder of wonders – available as both .com and .nl.

cooktus_topshot

So now it’s Cooktus. (And as well as the name, we helped the guys out with some editing on their launch announcement.)

It’s a lovely example of how events like Brand Nieuwe/New can spark new connections, ideas and collaborations. (As well as adding a nice example to our naming portfolio.)

And discovering Cooktus has been a personal boon for me, as someone who can barely make a sandwich without necessitating a visit to A&E and the procuring of an emergency takeaway.

So thanks, Cooktus. 🙂

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