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Some men see things as they are and say 'why?' I dream of things that never were and say, why not? --George Bernard Shaw

Monday, August 13, 2012


WHY THIS STRANGE NAME "AureliuSignum"? ...
I know that many people when starting a company or venture have been criticized or found puzzlement from their audience for the names they chose to represent them. However, this criticism has become short-lived when compared to the success that is retained despite or even because of their company names, which have since become household regularities and a staple of consumer trends. A handful of the company names I found most interesting include:

Combination of Veritas (latin for ‘truth’) and horizon.

From the latin word ‘sonus’ meaning sound, and ‘sonny’ a slang word used by Americans to refer to a bright youngster.

The name is taken from Moby-Dick; after the name Pequod was rejected by the other co-founders. The company was instead named after the chief mate on the Pequod, Starbuck.

Like many other companies (such as Apple Computers, AppleOne, etc.) Jeff Bezos wanted a name for his company that began with “a” so that it would appear early in alphabetic order. He began looking through the dictionary and settled on “amazon” because it was the river he considered the biggest in the world.

Officially became Nike, Inc. on May 30, 1978. The company takes its name from Nike (Greek Νίκη, pronounced [nǐːkɛː]) the Greek goddess of victory. The swoosh symbolizes her flight.

So when it came time for me I took a similar page from these business mega-stars and did my own research for what I wanted represent and retain even in a name in which to brand my work.  AureliuSignum—is a combination of two Latin words—Aurelius (ahh-REH-L-ee-OOs) meaning Golden and Signum (sIH-g-nOOm) meaning Signs.

Because many languages descend from Latin, I started exploring several words and phrases—wanting to preserve the symbolism of finding the essence in creative expression, even in the title of my company.

During this research I stumbled upon two great classical writers; Aurelius Augustinus and Marcus Aurelius. The life and work of first individual I completely admired and that of the second? I found myself entirely enthralled by the contrast to the first.

St. Aurelius Augustinus was born in North Africa at Thagaste in Numidia (now Souk Ahras, Algeria) on November 13, 354 A.D, later becoming a Christian and a Bishop of Hippo to this day he is celebrated by some as one of the four great Fathers of the Church. His notable works include De Doctrina Christiana, City of God, and Confessions—in which he describes his childhood. Here he gives remarkable accounts of his learning disabilities – including learning to speak. He portrays his struggle as an infant to communicate effectively, where he would toss about his limbs and utter sounds that corresponded to his wishes, but others were unable to understand him.

In his youth he abandoned his faith and adopted a hedonistic lifestyle, but he found himself unfulfilled. It is said the moment of this discovery was on a trip to Rome during an encounter with a homeless man. I found that knowing his history wasn’t spotless was quite comforting. Despite the passion, faith and service to others of which is he now known, he wasn’t always a saint. (Of which he IS now recognized as such by the Catholic Church.) However, his story clearly proves the assurance of hope and the restoration of a life. To have the ability to choose a better life, one that may not be filled with material wealth, but wealth of the soul. For this he has been greatly admired.

In Contrast, I found another great deal of information on Marcus Aurelius Verus who was named the Emperor of Rome in 161 AD. He was lead by the principles of other stoic philosophers, but quickly adapted only those he deemed necessary to his own methodology. In some segments of his work he was thought to respect the idea of practicing conviction in one’s life, but his interpretation of this, was founded in removing all emotion. Marcus is mainly remembered and recognized for the famous stoic writing called Meditations. It is based on extracting all passion and feeling from your life to achieve true human perfection—and the belief that God is the substance of all matter in the universe, of which we are all apart—this distinction enveloped into the severe gruesome persecution of Christians during his reign. His devotion to his family, however, was undeniable, including his ability to share in his duties as emperor with his also adopted brother Lucius Aurelius Verus.

Regardless of all his great writings dealing with peace and harmony of one’s mind, the majority of his rule his was spent in violent war with his fellow man. He died from an epidemic that swept the country—even his great stature could not save him from it.

Now you may find me being too critical of the emperor, but what I find to be so interesting is that the former bishop who was born into poverty, who had to struggle just to communicate, did spend some time being publicly renown, and yet he returned to the simplest needs of life and found meaning, happiness, and “peace of mind” in the service of others, instead of the conquest to defeat them.

The stories of these two men inspired me; One born to health, wealth and privilege, the other to less material means, restricted by a physical handicap, both holding very strong convictions, yet with very different motivations. In the end, their writings transformed their generation and all who would come after them by their devotion to what they believed in. Like the matchless worth of the finest gold or a sign on a highway, with an unmistakable message, their lives have become like watermarks on the pages of history. Their stories, like so many others who are remembered beyond their time, have moved the hearts of men and women. That is the inspiration for my company. That is what I hope to achieve, in the words of another philosopher,

“To move the world we must first move ourselves.”


This is definitely a market which speaks for itself. It is an intrinsic need that may appear small, yet should not be understated as to its weight and effect—not only as a profitable market, but its positive influence on society.

Its development has continued to materialize since its humble beginnings and the opportunity for smaller companies to benefit from this industry’s wealth is prevalent today more than ever with the aid of technology and the internet.

Consumer values drive consumer behavior across categories, cultures and demographics, and there are no values more compelling than the conscious, core beliefs consumers have about personal morality, religion and spirituality…. Value is front and center for every purchase. But how consumers interpret value, seek it out and acquire it does differ…
However, belief is one of the most powerful consumer values, and its significance is mainstreaming around the world.

In the age of constant advancement in technology, there is the criticism that such an industry would grow unnecessary. However, one of the most unique elements about this medium is the effect it has on human relationships.

There is an inherit need that exists to physically express one’s appreciation for another; an innate desire to create a stronger bond, as well as a more intimate connection with those we value.

In 2001 it was founded that 90% of American households would buy at least one greeting card. That same year, September 11th became a date that every American would recall as a sad pinnacle in our nation’s history. Only being a few months away from the holidays, like many markets that would suffer after this event, the greeting card industry was bracing itself for difficulty.

The GCA Executive Vice President Marianne McDermott signified that the association’s members indicated; “…sales of greeting cards actually increased after September 11th. Historically, in times of stress, war or depression, people tend to send more greeting cards to keep in closer touch with family and friends.”  With this in mind, during the years between 1999 and 2004 (despite the anthrax scare) the industry remained stable and actually matured with a sales growth of 8.7% (reported by Markets and Research.)

You need only to peruse a shop to find that there are never enough options for a true card lover—basking the isles pulling card after card off the shelf only to replace most. However, if these consumers are given a quality selection, this will be evident with those buyers leaving with much more than a memorable shopping experience. That experience will be transformed into several quality purchases, where the person they extended their heart to with that card, asks the question any business person can only hope their product generates; “where did you get this?!”

This business has the privilege of bringing a simple, but essential product to the table, enabling a customer to fulfill a need. I want to share in moments and memories of love and care in people’s lives even if I never meet them. To know I have been apart of something that special, an intimate exchange between two people or a group of people is greater than simply a way to make a living. It’s a way of living.

“…finding the essence in your expression”

1 comment:

  1. hey welcome back! your site had literally disappeared...