A Duck By Any Other Name

Fuzzy Duck story illustrated.

Have you ever wondered how Fuzzy Duck Design got its name? It’s one of the most asked questions we get when meeting new clients and we can understand why. It’s a unique choice for a business name and we admit it breaks a few of the rules we follow when developing names for our own clients. So, if you’re curious, read on for the whole story. Because with a name like “Fuzzy Duck,” it’s got to be good…

As a boy growing up on a small farm in Southern Minnesota, the founder of Fuzzy Duck Design, Eddie Ulrich, spent much of his time sketching and pushing his imagination to its limits. He quickly gained a modest reputation for being able to draw and, because of that, he was often asked to do artwork for everything from small area businesses to lemonade stands. One such project was for an area farmer who wanted a simple sign to advertise some ducklings he was selling at an upcoming flea market. Not unlike young Eddie, the ducks possessed unique features that lent themselves to illustration – so he drew a little cartoon duck and in stylized letters wrote “Fuzzy Ducks for Sale.” Although the farmer was puzzled by his choice of adjectives, he used the sign and he sold every last duckling within the first half hour of the flea market. In fact, the sign drew so much attention that the farmer received inquiries as to whether he had any more “Fuzzy Ducks” at home. He couldn’t understand all the fuss over common ducklings – especially in a farm community.  What he didn’t realize was that our young designer had made them into more than just ducklings – he had given them a unique graphic identity that set them apart.
It wasn’t until our founder’s college years while earning degrees in advertising and graphic design that he looked back on this “Fuzzy Duck” project and realized that he had combined a visual identity with a memorable name and in doing so had differentiated the product and called attention to it. Wasn’t that what graphic design was all about? So – when Eddie started freelancing as a designer, he did so under the name Fuzzy Duck!
After college, Eddie spent a few years working for a marketing firm and then a Minneapolis Ad Agency.  After this work experience, an opportunity presented itself for Eddie to go into business for himself. He strongly thought about renaming his company something a little more professional than Fuzzy Duck – perhaps Drake Communications would create a more professional image. The reaction he got from his existing clients and friends, however, was overwhelming – “…keep the Fuzzy Duck name, we love it!”  So, knowing that the client is always right, he kept the Fuzzy Duck moniker and started his company.