New Book Helps You Visualize Your Child’s Name



Picture 1 of 8

Inspiration for your child’s name can come from almost anywhere and at anytime, but the creative minds at Tashcen Books have recently released a new work to help you visualize what a potential name might look like… as a store front sign. The typographic nuances that are possible with a child’s name are rarely considered, but photographer Kirsten Dietz traveled from California to Kowloon, shooting signs along the way. What she and Jochen Rädeker, graphic designer and author, put together for Taschen is a book called It’s a Boy – It’s a Girl, a collection of portraits without people, showing over 300 hundred pages of names as signs. It works a much like a traditional baby name book, with girls names in one half and then you flip it to start from the other end to read the boys names. It also includes a brief index of the names presented in the photographs, with derivations and alternate spellings to consider.

The names are an eclectic blend from around the world, and include some that may not instantly spring to mind — like “Iriana” — and others with interesting geek connotations — like “Han.” From the Web site description:

From car showrooms to hairdressers and corner pubs, from supermarkets to flower shops and laundries, countless fields of activity are open to the bearer of each name – an ideal way of helping new or expectant parents to make their choice. With names from Albert to Yusuf and from Açelya to Yvonne, this double-fronted book (It’s a Boy in one half, and flip it over to discover It’s a Girl on the other) is also a beautifully designed photography book.

The photographs remind me of those montages Sesame Street used to spell out the alphabet with street and store front signs. Of course my son looking through the book had a slightly different take. He commented that they looked more like abandoned towns during a zombie apocalypse, which I immediately understood. Most of the signs are weather aged and worn. Without human forms they take on a lonely feel, as if the names are all that remains of our world. That may seem like an odd way to find the name you want to call your child for the rest of its life, but if you are a parent to be who is tired of the more saccharine fare to be found with most baby naming books, It’s a Boy – It’s a Girl may be the antidote you are looking for.

It’s a Boy – It’s a Girl by Kirsten Dietz & Jochen Rädeker (Taschen, $ 29.99)

Liked it? Take a second to support GeekDad and GeekMom on Patreon!