I need to communicate a instruction about a technique converting a company name into a logo. I don't want to show real world examples. Because it needs to be obvious that the person following the instruction can do the same to his company name and logo.

I'm searching for a placeholder like 'John Doe', 'www.example.tld', ' Timbuktu', 'foo', 'bar' but than for a company name. This placeholder name will also be displayed in the instruction as logo (symbol). There has to be a strong relation between the placeholder (string) and logo (symbol).

I'm looking for a fictional company name that will trigger strong visual associations.

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    If I understand you correctly, you want a name for a fictional company that in itself gives strong visual associations? But you do not want something specific; so no "Billiard Inc", "Bobs Best Biestro" . My first thought was Acme, the classic non-exsistant company.
    – benteh
    Apr 19 '14 at 17:08
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    My first guess was ACME too. I think ACME referenced through all loney toones. Or so I think.
    – Gokce Ozan
    Apr 19 '14 at 18:13
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    You are aware that Timbuktu is a real place, right? It's in Mali and nearly 55,000 people live there. Apr 20 '14 at 8:48
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    One could just make it up based on some well known fiction. E.g. Vader & Son Ltd (I like this one - plenty of imagery to work with), Sauron Inc, Voldemort Ltd...you can see where I am going ^^
    – Cor_Blimey
    Apr 20 '14 at 12:31

As in my comment, I do not think I entirely understand you Q, but what you are after are names for fictional companies that have a strong visual impact.

Strong relation between the fictional name and logo? That is what logo design is for; the company name is not chosen as such.

The all-time classic fictional company is Acme Corporation.

Cinema and literature are full of fictional companies, here are some classics:

  • Sirius Cybernetics (The hitchhikers guide to the galaxy)
  • Wonka Industries (Charlie and the chocolate factory)
  • Tyrell Corp. (Blade runner)
  • Nakatomi Trading Corp. (Die hard)
  • Thanks for the answer. I really like the literature/movie examples. Wonka Industries takes the lead because I think most people will have the chocolate factory association, it can be visual strong and has a happy vibe. I looked them up and stumbled on forbes.com/sites/michaelnoer/2011/03/11/….
    – allcaps
    Apr 19 '14 at 18:26
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    There's also Universal Exports, which is the front company that James Bond always says he works for. That makes it doubly fictional. Apr 19 '14 at 18:44
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    U.S. Robots and Mechanical Men (from Isaac Asimov’s Robot novels) might be good to associate with a logo.
    – Scott
    Apr 19 '14 at 20:23
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    The "Aperture Science" of company names and logos, anyone? Apr 20 '14 at 2:59
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    If you're looking to avoid trademark issues, keep in mind that The Willy Wonka Candy Company is a brand owned by Nestlé. Apr 21 '14 at 3:34

The Wikipedia Article "Placeholder Name" has a section for "Companies and organisations", which includes the following:

"Ace" and "Acme" were popular in company names as positioning words in alphabetical directories. They were generic, laudatory of whatever products they were used to promote and appeared at the beginning of most alpha-sorted lists. The Acme Corporation of cartoon fame is one placeholder example.

"Mum and Pop" are occasional placeholders for the individual owners of a generic, very small family business Main Street or High Street for the business district of a small town or village, often contrasted as a commercial business entity against Wall Street as the financial market of New York City.

"Advent corporation" is a term used by lawyers to describe an as yet unnamed corporation, while legal incorporation documents are being prepared. In case of Advent Corporation, founder Henry Kloss decided to adopt this placeholder name as the formal legal name of his new company.

Fictional brands such as Morley (cigarette) are often used in television and cinema as placeholders to avoid unintended product placement.


The classic product of such fictitious organizations is the Widget, and there is at least one well known incarnation of the Widget, so there's your visual association. Adding the word 'Widget' to the company name makes the resulting logo almost obvious.

  • Oops. Apparently I mis-remembered the term Widget where I actually should have said 'Blivet'. Check it out on Wikipedia.
    – theNbomr
    Apr 19 '14 at 20:52
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    Hi there and welcome to GD - you can edit your answer if you want to add more.
    – benteh
    Apr 19 '14 at 21:15
  • Nice one! You're right. Wiki mentions 'widget' on the blivet page as an alternative and placeholder name for a product.
    – allcaps
    Apr 19 '14 at 21:17
  • This answer is incorrect. "Widget" and "blivet" are both placeholder names for products or technologies, not companies. Apr 20 '14 at 8:51

One can never go wrong with Umbrella Corporation (from Resident Evil) They even have a very official and friendly looking corporate website and all http://www.umbrellacorporation.net/. It also looks much less "game oriented" than other alternatives, so Umbrella will have you covered...


There are several listed here: List of Saturday Night Live commercial parodies

  • More products than companies. But good inspiration. Thanks.
    – allcaps
    Apr 19 '14 at 21:21

If you're ever going to make it into a URL or wind up tying it to one, the IANA reserved example.com and example.org, and some language variants thereof:


So if you need to be boring and corporate and avoid legal problems or someone clicking and getting more than they may have bargained for, call it Example Corporation with "visit us at example.com"

But if you have the liberty to be amusing, making the examples funny can make life more fun for you and your audience. Why be generic when you could slip in an inside joke, all things being equal?

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