What's in a name?

by Matthew Prince.

What's in a name?

When Michelle, Lee and I started working on the business plan that turned into CloudFlare one of the first questions was what we should call it? We needed a placeholder so we initially chose "Project WebWall." That wasn't very sexy, but it essentially described what we were initially trying to do: build a "firewall in the cloud."

We tried a bunch of names along those lines: FireCloud, CloudWall, FireCloudWallandOtherCoolStuff... either things didn't sound right, they were being used by someone else, or their domains were already taken. At some point my friend Emily suggested CloudFlare. It was perfect, the domain unregistered, and so we snapped it up.

After we had a name the next step was to create a logo. Years ago I'd met Lindon Leader at a Chamber of Commerce event in my home town of Park City, Utah. He'd recently retired there with his wife who was originally from the area. Lindon is amazing. He designed the branding for companies like Double Tree Hotels, Ryder Trucks, Hawaiian Airlines, the NCAA, and many more you'd immediately recognize. The one he may be most famous for is FedEx, which is definitely one of the coolest logos ever. If you don't know the story of its design, you can read an interview with Lindon about it.

I'd saved Lindon's card over the years and gave him a call to see if he'd be willing to work on our logo. It was a long shot given his reputation and our limited budget. He thought the project sounded cool and put together the design you see today. He was amazing to work with and we remain flattered he'd take the time to help us start to build our brand.

CloudFlare has turned out to be a terrific name and we love our logo. As we've added more performance-related features to complement our original ideas around security the brand has continued to hold up and feel right. Going forward we think CloudFlare is a brand that can support our lofty mission: to secure and better power the entire Internet.

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