This is the definitive story behind choosing the name “Stranger Studios” for our business. Ignore the imposters.

I, like many programmers, wanted to make video games. Around 2002 or so, I bought the domain name and starting setting up a website. I came up with a great logo for the new Stranger Studios… and then soon realized I was channeling the Neighborhood Watch Logo without the X through it. Was I the bad guy?

The Neighborhood Watch Logo

I ditched the logo, but kept the site up and used it to host my various projects. Here is that early design as reconstructed by the Wayback Machine. Some borders there are missing because I used tables with different background colors for the rows and columns to avoid the weight of a few more images. Must be too much swagger for modern browsers to render.

The first design, which was basically a ripoff of a site Jason saw on

Later on, when Kim and I started doing freelance web design projects, we needed a business name and website. The Stranger Studios name and site were available.

Some of our logos through the years…

Besides being ready to go, we liked the Stranger Studios name for a few reasons.

  1. Even back then, most of our work was done remotely online. The word “Stranger” was an admission that we were strangers with the new clients we were sending proposals to. It was an invitation to move past being strangers to becoming partners and friends.
  2. The name isn’t taking itself too seriously. It’s a little offbeat and effectively turned away a kind of stuffy client we didn’t want anyway.
  3. The name is generic enough to allow us to do a variety of projects with it. It basically acts as a holding company now. Maybe we’ll get back into games some day.

That’s it. Now you know the story behind the name Stranger Studios.

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