Why did we rename “Urban Optiks” to “Urban Optiques?”

Since purchasing Urban Optiks from Dr. Rob Diegel this month, we’ve had a number of clients and patients ask why we made a name change.Urban Optiks is Now Urban Optiques

After all, Urban Optiks and its neon “Eye Exams” sign has been a prominent downtown-Northville fixture for years, and renaming a business can not only cost you considerable money but it can also cause confusion among existing clients.

The answer, surprisingly, is actually quite simple: We did it because of the Internet.

We actually loved the name “Urban Optiks” from the start and our initial intent was to continue operating under the “Urban Optiks” moniker.  People knew the name, they knew our product and it would have cost us a lot less as a business to keep it — no need to retool our logo, letterhead or signage.

However, because Dr. Diegel also has an optometry practice in Indianapolis that shared the same name as the Northville “Urban Optiks” location, there were certain consequences from an Internet perspective that we had to take into consideration — namely, how would we share a domain name for multiple locations that offer very different eyewear lines and potentially, different promotions?

We see the Web as playing a big role going forward in providing more convenient services to our clients and patients, as well as attracting new patients.  So where we were going to put our website was pretty critical.  We worked with Dr. Rob to try to think through this, but in the end, it made sense for him to own and control his domain name, and for us to do the same.

Next Up: Is the Web Address Available?

So we had to come up with a new name for Urban Optiks that combined what we always loved about this businesses’ brand — a feel of urban sophistication — with what could work for us as the new owners. And above all, whatever name we came up with had to be available as a web address.

I’m not sure how many of you have ever tried to name a business, but I can tell you it’s really hard.

Coming up with a great business name is the easy part.

What’s difficult is finding a business name that not only expresses who you are, but also has an Internet address that’s available.

Sometimes you have the perfect name, but someone is sitting on your domain name and wants a zillion dollars for it.  In other cases, someone owns your business domain but can’t be reached. You send them e-mail after e-mail and they never respond.

It’s maddening.

“Urban Optiques” Is Born

Luckily, one night over a couple of glasses of L. Mawby sparkling wine, the name “Urban Optiques” was conceived.  Even better, it was a name that no one had yet purchased as an online domain.Art Nouveau Color Palette

Double bonus.

Not only was it a name that was close in sound and spelling (sort of) to Urban Optiks, but it also conveyed the vibe and image that I wanted for this practice. And even better, it was available as a domain name.

Problem solved.

We actually had several other names available, but we polled both the Urban Optiques team in the office and clients and patients and let them tell us what resonated with them.

Hand’s down it was “Urban Optiques.”

People commented that the “tiques” at the end of “Optiques” evoked both “boutique” and “antique” which we were fine with.

Although antique and vintage frames are only a small part of our collection,  we liked the contrast of past, present and future. It’s a something we try to do visually in the office as well, displaying modern eyewear like our Prada collection in rehabbed antique display cases.

So we pulled the trigger.

Art Nouveau Meets Modern Chic

Less than a month later we have a new name, a new logo, and a new website.

Even better, the name that picked we think embodies who we are, what we sell and our “promise” to our patients and clients.Our Muse:Champagne De La Jarretiere Art Nouveau Advertising Poster

We chose “Urban Optiques” because it wasn’t terribly different from our previous name, yet it conveys our independent, fashion-focused philosophy. It also had a bit of a European feel that we liked.

We chose an Art Nouveau feel to our logo and branding because it works well with the historic motif of downtown Northville and we’re fans of the Art Nouveau period.

We think it’s both elegant, sophisticated and timeless. And because we didn’t want to take ourselves too seriously and come off as stuffy, we added the Cat Eye glasses into the logo for a touch of retro-whimsy.

The colors we used for the logo are actually taken from a turn-of-the-century Art Nouveau color palette that we found online — lots of soft, muted pastel colors that reflected the Art Nouveau period’s muse:  Nature.

Now that we have a name and logo, we’re in the process of swapping out the “Urban Optiques” name across the practice, including our letterhead and signage. The launch of the Urban Optiques website this week was one of the first major steps in that process, and we’re hoping to have the full branding done by the end of the month.

What About the Big Neon Sign?

So what about the neon “Urban Optiks Eye Exams” sign in the front window?  Is that going to become “Urban Optiques?”

Modern Meets We’ve actually decided to keep theicurrent neon sign as-is — for both historical and practical purposes.


First, it’s not clear yet whether we could actually retool the existing neon-tube-work to replace the “Optiks” with “Optiques.”

Second, we kind of like the idea of leaving a touch of history in place.

It’s always been a great sign, and one that I remembered seeing in downtown Northville years before I ever thought I’d end up owning the practice.

So the “Urban Optiks” neon stays.

There will be plenty of the new look and name around the office and on other signage, so we’re not too worried about confusing people.

So What How Are People Reacting?

Feedback on the new name and logo from patients and clients so far has been overwhelmingly positive, so we’re excited that the time and effort we put into the new name and look is being well-received.

Practically speaking, it also takes some of the guess-work out of making interior design decisions, beacause you can always match things up to the practices brand. This definitely came in handy when we put down a new floor in the back-office a few weeks ago: We chose to match the checker-board floor up with the blue and brown in the Urban Optiques’ logo.

A special thanks to all of our patients and clients — both new and existing — who have remained patient with us during this transition (as well as during the construction.)  We’re excited about meeting more of you and earning your loyalty and helping you see and be seen.

Category : Urban Optiques

About Urban Optiques

Urban Optiques provides vision care, eye exams & exclusive designer eyewear to Northville, Plymouth, Novi, Livonia, Ann Arbor, Farmington, West Bloomfield, Royal Oak, Ferndale, Birmingham, & Metro-Detroit.

Contact Us

Northville Square Mall
133 W. Main St. - Suite 243
Northville, MI - 48167

Tel: 248.347.9090 Fax: 248.773.7528