Open_Magazine_smOpen Magazine is Master-McNeil’s name for the official magazine of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, also known as SFMOMA, which was developed interactively with the museum’s creative staff. The name suggests curiosity: open eyes, open to interpretation, open to the new.  SFMOMA continues to use the Open idea and to extend it into new additional activities and events.


Maritime_smMaster-McNeil developed the name San Francisco Maritime Park as a more visitor-friendly nickname for The San Francisco Maritime National Park, its official name as established by Congress. Additionally, as part of our work, we recommended renaming the former National Maritime Museum Association, which supports the park through volunteers and fundraising. Our new name for this volunteer support group, also created as part of this project, is The San Francisco Maritime National Park Association; more closely mirroring the official National Park name and the name of its support group was a key objective of this work.


Lindsay_Wildlife_smIn a crowded and increasingly competitive nonprofit world, this institution, formerly the Alexander Lindsay Junior Museum and credited with founding the first formal wildlife rehabilitation program in the United States in 1970, felt its message was being lost. Our name, Lindsay Wildlife Museum, conveys the museum’s specialized purpose and mission: housing, teaching about, and caring for injured or orphaned wildlife, including many different kinds of animals, reptiles, and birds that have been poisoned, hit by cars, displaced from trees during pruning, or otherwise hurt, often due to human activities.  In most cases the creature is rehabilitated and released back into the wild.



Cal-Academy-logo-e1421984766605We worked with The California Academy of Sciences and its staff and Board to develop a tag line to better convey the Academy’s offerings, and to make it seem friendlier and less “academic.” Our tagline,Earth, Ocean, Space, which was further developed as “Earth, Ocean, Space, All in One Place,” conveys the three components of the Academy: the Natural History Museum, Steinhart Aquarium, and Morrison Planetarium.  The acronym version of this tag line as a shorthand for the place, EOS, was also of interest as an outcome of our work.



SilverStarlight_smOur event name, SilverStarlight, provided the theme for San Francisco Ballet’s season opening-night gala fundraiser, and captures the magic of this major social and fundraising event.


Bentley-School-Created for a multi-year fundraising effort by Bentley School in Oakland and Lafayette, California, our tagline “Building for the Future” captures the literal, facilities-oriented purpose of the capital campaign, as well as its more aspirational goals.




Alliant_smAlliant International University is our name for the merged California School of Professional Psychology and the United States International University.  Now with six locations in California as well as campuses in Mexico City, Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Nairobi, Alliant now additionally encompasses a law school, a business school, and a school of education.  Our name references both the original alliance of the two merger partners, and the alliance between the University and its students.  Further, Alliant has been well served by its name as it expands to make alliances with ever more countries, cultures, and fields of academic endeavor.


CompassPoint_smCompassPoint Nonprofit Services is our repositioning and name for the merged Support Center for Nonprofit Management and the Nonprofit Development Center. The name reflects the combined organizations’ role, to provide strategic planning consulting services to nonprofits.


UCSF_Stanford_smUCSF Stanford Health Care was our name for the merger of patient-care facilities of the Stanford Medical School and the University of California, San Francisco. While somewhat short-lived in the rapidly changing health care climate, the name respected institutional heritage while clearly conveying their alliance (since dissolved).


Brain_tumor_smWe are delighted to have worked with the United States’ two most prominent brain tumor organizations, The Brain Tumor Society and the National Brain Tumor Foundation, as they prepared to merge. While our creative brief included exploring entirely new names, continuity and ease were key goals of our work with these two Boards of Directors and staffs. Thus, the selected name is a smooth combination of their former names. The National Brain Tumor Society, introduced in August 2008, was met with immediate, unanimous approval and acceptance, and has gone on to become a single strong voice advocating both for brain tumor patients, and for increased brain tumor medical research.


Lawrence-Berkeley-Lab-e1421986526140Formerly Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, in this interesting and historic project for the Laboratory Director and his management team, we recommended adding “National” to the Lab’s name, placing it on linguistic par with the United States’ other National Laboratories for the first time. Furthermore, this Lab, which does basic research and is funded largely by the US Department of Energy, was often confused with the high-security Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, largely funded by the Department of Defense. Our complete new name, the Ernest O. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, clarifies the difference between the two. The Lab is known as LBNL for short.

Our work extended to using names to increase clarity and sense of place on the actual Lab site, in the hills above the University of California in Berkeley. We recommended changing the names of the most important streets within the lab from their rather generic and unhelpful names — Blackberry Way, Strawberry Lane, etc. — to the names of the many Lab’s Nobel laureates. The streets we named after the Lab’s Nobel laureates are those leading to the buildings where the Nobel Prize-winning work was actually done. This new system of vivid, memorable street names both honors these distinguished scientists, and helps employees and visitors to navigate the site.  Streets renamed according to this scheme include Lawrence Road, McMillan Road, Alvarez Road, Chamberlain Road, Segre Road, Seaborg Road, Glaser Road, Smoot Road, and Chu Road.  The historic Cyclotron Road name was retained.


NCIRE_smNCIRE, which stands for “Northern California Institute for Research and Education,” is the largest of the 86 research institutes associated with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Through its collaboration with the UCSF Medical School and the San Francisco Veterans Hospital, NCIRE has pioneered research on PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and on injuries caused by IEDs (improvised explosive devices). It also conducts groundbreaking research into degenerative diseases, cancer, HIV, and other illnesses suffered by older WWII, Korea, and Vietnam vets. Yet this important and often-groundbreaking work is visible nowhere in the NCIRE name.

The institute needed to increase its visibility and understanding, but could not change its name due to Congressional mandate. Our challenge was to express the importance of its work. Our new tagline, The Veterans Health Research Institute, suggests national importance, while clearly describing the work being done and whom it benefits.