A firm name is a sensitive subject, but ultimately your first opportunity to create a lasting impression.

This week we asked: How many partner names are in your logo?

1. One name – 17%

2. Two names – 32%

3. Three names – 15%

4. Four or more names – 36%

My Thoughts: Kudos to those brave souls with one name! OUTSTANDING! 32with two names: your memorable factor is GREAT. 15% with three names: that is GOOD. But… it’s clear that many of you have work ahead of you… 36% have four or more names in your logos. You have a challenge and I bet my last dollar that your street name is shortened to the first two names… am I right? Come on, be honest!

If people have already shortened it out of EASE… shouldn’t you?

Our number one rule for firms looking to update their branding is this: shorter is better. Shorter firm names are easier to remember, easier to say and easier to design a visual identity around. Of course, shortening a firm name is never easy. Most partners have worked for years to get their name in the firm logo, which makes cutting it down an incredibly sensitive subject.

 In the case of partner ego—a good solution is to use a shorter name for the visual identity while keeping the legal name of the firm written above the address line on the stationary,etc. using the same font as the address.

If all else fails call in a marketing professional or consultant. Sometimes the truth is easier to swallow from a stranger. By approaching the discussion from a branding and marketing point of view you can, together, navigate the waters and achieve a delicate balance of personality, simplicity, memorability and ego.

There is a way to deal with both sides of this challenge. Take a cue from Michael Fichtel of Kelley Kronenberg:

Shorter firm names are easier to remember – and when it came to our firm’s name, it was possible to balance fairness and brevity. Our solution was to use the first two names for the logo and list all name partners on the address line or below the logo in our printed materials. I think it will prove to be a good balance.

Black Pearl: Bill Torpy writer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution wrote "A law firm with one name? Is it… legal?"