On originality in naming

Let me show you the names of several UK newsstand magazines:
Knitting, Simply Knitting, Let's Knit, The Knitter, Knit

Can you tell them apart?
I'll be honest, I can't. I'm continually getting them mixed up. And yet, these magazines are supposed to have their own identities - reading through them, they're meant for different skill levels and have different feels. But by the titles, they're totally homogeneous.

Simply Knitting UK knitting magazine coverKnitting Magazine great britain british mag coverLet's Knit England magazine knitting cover

Sure, maybe it's advised that a knitting magazine should have 'knit' or 'knitting' in the title. But what about these other magazines: Interweave Knits, Vogue Knitting, Knitty, Knitscene. They all feature 'knitting' in the title, yet they manage to state their own identity as well. When you see a mag by the name of Vogue Knitting, you'll find in it just about what you would expect - high-fashion, and a bit out there.

This month, Yarn Forward (the only UK magazine, AFAIK, without 'knitting' in the title) is changing its name to KNIT, genericizing themselves among the ranks of Knitting, The Knitter, et al. I have to assume this decision wasn't made lightly, as any name change is a risk - you lose the name recognition you've already built up, and you have to re-create your image all over again. But I don't think it was a wise choice at all - the name Yarn Forward evokes images of being progressive, more advanced than the other newsstand mags aimed at more novice knitters, more interesting patterns. "Knit"? Well, there's not a single thing a title like that tells us, other than it's a knitting magazine.

It seems quite odd to me that all these magazines are named so generically. There's quite a number of them, so it would behoove them to stand out from the crowd and break away from the competition.


1 comment:

  1. Last October Knit Now was also added to this list. It seems I am living in the wrong country... knitting magazines are hard to find where I live, and if they are there, most of them are badly translated out of German. And with badly I mean: lots of mistakes that could have been avoided.