Vexillology (or: what’s in a name?)

Next month marks our first year of business as Chargefield! To mark the occasion, we thought we’d share some background on what went into our name and logo, as it’s something we’re asked quite often.

When coming up with a name for the new business, we wanted one that encapsulated our wide offerings of creative services under one roof - a  place that clients can use as a one stop shop for everything from branding to motion graphics, from marketing to photography. With such a wide range of services, the one element that tied them all together (other than us) is the client who uses them all. We knew that when using our creative services, a client is presenting a brand image that represents themselves in the marketplace, much like a country does with a flag.


Vexillology is the scientific study of the history, symbolism and usage of flags. In the study of vexillology there are terms for each and every component of a flag, and the two parts that make up many flags are the charge, which is a figure or symbol appearing on a flag; and the field, which is the background of a flag (the colour behind the charge). What was so interesting about this terminology was the resulting word combination, charge field. In the study of physics this grouping of words would also allude to a point charge field - an electric field that has an effect on other charges around it, acting from a distance, like gravity, to pull charges towards it. 

We see the charge (the vexillological term for symbol) as the visual branding of a company - much like a country’s flag. And the field is the effect that the visual brand has on the market - being pulled to the brand’s flag - much like the point charge field does in physics. 


Another interesting parallel with visual marketing and flag imagery is maritime signal flags. Each of these flags have a unique combination of shapes and colours, representing a letter of the alphabet or number. The flags are used for ships to communicate unclassified messages visually, and as we’re in the business of visual communication, this usage of flags underlines our brand imagery perfectly.

So as a combination of art (vexillology) and science (physics), and of visual branding and marketing, the name Chargefield came about.