Thursday, August 6, 2015

What's In a Name?

In selecting images to include in the deck, 95% of the decision rides on whether or not I can come up with a valid name or title for the card. Sometimes it can be quite the challenge. The card titles in an oracle deck need to be evocative of something, to carry meaning and still be open-ended. Very literal words are not good for this purpose: a word like "running" is no better a name than "Fred" would be. For this card, which shows the Brownies trying on human bathing suits, I think I started with something like "Disguise," which I didn't like at all. "Facade" is much better. It can indicate something hidden beneath the surface, or deception, or the need to put on an artificial face, or any one of a half-dozen other things.

Most often, I start out with a word that I don't like. Then I'll head to the thesaurus, and with the image open in Photoshop I'll follow the word that I don't like as it leads me through many other connections.  Sometimes the final word isn't found in the thesaurus, but is suggested by what I find there. 

In some ways, getting the keyword right is the most important part of the process. I do try to keep it down to one word, but I don't always succeed, as you have seen. The good news is, nothing is set in stone until it goes to the printers after the final proof. I have already changed some keywords since the card was posted here, and I expect that more will change before I am done. 

One more card to go! What will it be?

-- Frede