My website address is www.steeeve.com. As a freelancer I want to be on a first name basis with clients and steve.com was taken, but that’s not the reason I threw two extra vowels in there. I’m not just trying to be different either, although it may increase the likelihood that you’ll remember my name. The real reason has to do with the psychology of sound.

You see different sounds feel different. They each provoke a unique emotional response that has been hardwired into our psychology for the thousands of years since we started using phonetic language as a means of communication.

There’s “plosive” sounds like P, which explode out of you with power. There are “liquids” such as L, which sound smoother and more fluid. Then there’s the “Nasals” M and N, which feel more flat.

Compare the made-up words “molomo” and “shrikel”. Which one feels smooth or round and which one feels like it could have sharp edges?

They feel like they sound.

Steve with the sibilant S and the plosive T, feels sharp. That’s good. I want people to think I’m one of the shiny tools in the shed, but that’s not enough. You see, my business doesn’t work without relationships.

Friendliness is the foundation upon which great ideas are built. If we don’t feel safe to share, we can’t explore fearlessly. If we can’t laugh, we can’t express ourselves openly.  It’s a process that should be more than professional. It may be serious, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun.

That’s where the letter E comes in.

You see, E is rather special. Humans create this sound by opening the mouth slightly and drawing the lips apart.

You’re doing it now aren’t you?

E is a smiling letter. Through the psychology of sound it adds friendliness. In this way a simple tweak turns a name into a grin. For me, this is the perfect introduction to the creative relationship. Because in my game a smile is the generator that energises fertile ideas.