What's In A Name: Binary Tweed

Justin McElroy
J. McElroy|03.17.10

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Justin McElroy
March 17th, 2010
What's In A Name: Binary Tweed
Every once in a while, we bring you the story of how a developer or publisher settled on the name for their company. Today we bring you the harrowing tale of Binary Tweed, the developer behind Clover: A Curious Tale:

My main aim in setting out writing video games was to try and reinvigorate some of the forgotten genres that I loved so much as a kid. I knew right away I wanted a simple and slightly cheeky tagline, and "New games that are a bit like old games, but better" was the first thing that popped into my head. Long-winded yes, but it gets across character whilst doing exactly what it says on the tin.

I wouldn't be creating totally new off-the-wall games, so an enigmatic or futuristic name wouldn't do. I might be reinventing old things, but I'm thoroughly fed up of pop culture's obsession with retro. I wanted to avoid anything that suggested pixel art or chip tune music.
%Gallery-48831%A couple of things led to the name Binary Tweed. An artist pal of mine was commenting on the not-quite-steampunk dichotomy of my handlebar 'tache and the mini-mohawk, along with some of the pinstripe/PCB trousers I was wearing. That kinda got me thinking that what I was trying to do with games was also what I was trying to do with my appearance. So, we were already looking at something that said Victorian/country gentleman, with something a bit nerdy.

The other was a series of pub chats with Phil Joyce, an ex-colleague designer, who's pretty good at branding. We went through a ton of ideas including Tweed Studios (too boring), Digital Tweed (too retro and reminiscent of '80s watches), Carbon Tweed (too eco-friendly), Quantum Tweed (too Stephen Hawking), and last but not least The Daniel Jones Entertainment Software Enterprise ... Man, I so shoulda gone with that last one!

We had quite a few iterations of logos, the funkiest of which involved zebra. Phil toyed around with hound's-tooth to bring a bit of tweediness, but the literal interpretation of the name seemed a bit tacky. In the end we went with the coat of arms, just because it was exactly the opposite of what most other people seemed to be doing.
Managing director, Binary Tweed

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