The Art of Boat Names

Inspiring Ideas for Names and Designs

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January 6, 2009


Mixed media product, 184 pages


0071591427 / 9780071591423


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Main description

Shouldn't your boat's name look as distinctive as your boat?

A well-chosen and well-designed name on a transom or topsides is the finishing touch and creates the ultimate first impression for any boat. Your boat's name is the single most highly visible clue to your nautical interests and sensibilities. Whether the name is whimsical (Y-Knot), classical (Terpsichore), irreverent (Aquaholic), mythical (Valkyrie), sly (For Sail), romantic (Wayfarer), or full of attitude (Bite Me), it won't communicate your message without an effective design.

  • Choose the lettering and graphic style that best expresses your boating aspirations and personality.
  • Communicate your choices to a letterer, vinyl lettering shop, or a designer.
  • Browse 1,500 boat names and explore resources for expanded research.
  • Take a visual tour through the history of boat naming and across a seascape of boat transoms and topsides.
  • Work with hand-painted, gold-leaf, vinyl or lighted display lettering.

Table of contents

1. Naming History: An ancient tradition • Staying the course • Boating for pleasure • Just call me Alice • Fiberglass, vinyl, and psychedelia • Why Aquaholic?
2.Design Thinking: Using a design vocabulary • Pairing fonts with names • Traditional or predictable? • Leveraging expression and creativity
3.Design Styles: Type only • Integrating graphics with typography • Image-driven names
4.Boat Letterers' Stories: By hand or machine • Not all names are equal • Power versus sail • Tales from the back
Photo credits

Author comments

Laurie Churchman is an assistant professor of graphic design at the University of Pennsylvania, the principal of Designlore, a Philadelphia graphic design firm, and an AIGA national board member. She is keenly interested in the intersection of typography, design, craft, and technology, and has lectured widely on the topic. This is her first book.

Copyright 2014 McGraw-Hill Global Education Holdings, LLC


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