artworkprints + postersproducts

oddhero asterisk print

by Grace Bonney

I have a very mixed relationship with asterisks. Namely because about 50% of the time I think about my blog’s name I wish I hadn’t used one. Thinking back I’m not sure why I really chose to put one in, but I regret it every time I do an interview and someone writes that I did it because it was trendy. I’m pretty sure I didn’t sit back and think “Hey, everyone’s using these, I should too”- namely because that’s not how I make design decisions. But hey, it’s there now and there’s no looking back.* So I’m ready to embrace this new asterisk print from Oddhero. Oddhero designed my favorite typography print and are responsible for probably the most talked about piece of artwork we have in our home now. Oddhero recently introduced a new series of prints that celebrate “the four unsung heroes of typography”: the ampersand, exclamation mark, asterisk and question mark. The asterisk is my favorite (above) but you can click here to join the punctuation celebration ($140 each). xo, grace

*Does anyone else wish they’d picked a cooler blog name back in the day? I think D*S is pretty fitting for me now, but I do spent an inordinate amount of my day saying the word “sponge”, so sometimes I wish I’d chosen something cooler. Although admittedly I’m not very cool, so I think D*S is probably appropriately dorky.

Suggested For You


  • I love your *, and I did not know it was a trend, it just is in your name and I like it because then you can have a short but still stellar version of your website name in D*S, it’s like a touch of magic wand, nothing like vidoegames or anything, juste a design sponge, but with a little sparkle of magic in it, which is exactly what your site is! It is a great name! Be proud! :-)

  • I love Design*Sponge, and D*S would serve as a contemporary version of a rebrand and would make sense to your current readers. I work for an organization that rebrands so often that the biggest lesson learned is to stay simple and true to your heart! I wouldn’t change a thing and you did say that you ‘love the asaterisk’ .

  • love the *. it’s almost like it represents the sponge itself! embrace the branding. it would be cool if you could also be known just by the asterisk but maybe the red hot chili peppers were one step ahead : )

  • Sometimes we just fittingly end up who we are rather than who we want to be.

    Honestly though, to the rest of us, D*S is a perfect name. It’s quirky and seems to say, yes we love looking at beautiful things (the “D”), but we don’t take life too seriously (the “S”).

    PS. I am jealous of those people that just have a knack of christening things with snappy titles.

  • I love the name because you just soak up all the design out there for us and then we in turn soak it in. I think you are the essence of cool! You have brought together such interesting people on your site.

  • Design*Sponge is my favorite home design website and I read a lot of them. Don’t over think the name and asterisk! It’s kind of like a person who you love– you don’t stop to think about whether you like their name or not– it’s just a part of them. Same goes for D*S.

  • LOL. I can relate to this.

    My first two years in the blogosphere were spent writing professionally for the beauty and fashion blog at Bravo. So I didn’t have to worry about naming a blog.

    When that gig ended a few of my readers asked me if I was going to start a personal blog. I resisted at first, figuring I had nothing to really blog about, but then decided to just do it.

    I picked the name “little brown pen” in about five seconds after joking I’d blog about my obsession with brown fine point sharpies.

    If I had known that someday the name would be a business name, I may not have acted so hastily.

    Then again, I bought a notebook last night from “Bob’s Your Uncle” so …

    I think names just grow on you, you know?

  • I’m with everyone else! The * represents the sponge itself, plus I look at it more as a starburst, or some other pleasant shape, than an asterisk :) It also makes me smile that you have an asterisk in the post to a footnote explaining uncertainty about asterisks ;)

  • Asterisks are just fine! I shorten your blog name to D*S (actually I think most people so) when mentioning it on my own.

    Actually, what I wish is that when I started my Etsy store about 5 years ago I had utilized capitol letters.
    Currently it reads: laladexpress, which so many people read as lalad-express. I should have typed it as: LalaDexPress. Oh well, if that’s the worst thing I do in a day…

  • Love the print & Love “Design*Sponge”.

    I think sponge is perfectly fitting for what is happening in this space.

    As a professional creative I think the best thing to be is a sponge. (well, in all aspects of life really!) I should constantly be looking, learning & absorbing inspiration—and wringing out what just doesn’t fit.

    Growing up, my Mom always told me that the only truly bad circumstance was the one you learned nothing from—to be a sponge, taking in all the good you can & get rid of the rest. So even in the worst of situations, I try to apply this, learn what I can for the future and move on.

    For myself, clever, witty titles & names are not my strong suit despite all my visual creativity. So I took the easy route: I used my name.

    Embrace the Sponge!! :)

  • I think your blog’s name IS cool, but I have always wondered about the asterisk… But I do not know another blogger who uses it in their title, so it feels unique.

  • I have to admit that the word “sponge” always makes me think of Elaine Benes. :^) But it makes a lot of sense for what this blog does and encourages us to do.

    As an editor, I’m trained to look for the information that an asterisk refers readers to (it’s an early version of the weblink, I suppose). But happily, the editor’s eye accepts it here as part of the site’s look and feel.

    Great prints from oddhero. I might have to order that exclamation point!

  • I’ve been a follower for almost 5 yrs and always though the asterisk was a deliberate choice and represented “tentacles”, absorbing interesting design from all directions :) Conscious decision or not, I like it and really think it adds to your brand.

    Grace, thanks for a consistently well edited, generous, and inspirational blog (and for not trying to be super cool. Your skill and humility speaks for itself, which in itself is – cool ;)

    I totally identify with the angst of picking the “right” name, though, as I’m going through at the moment. Kristy said it well!

  • I love your blog’s name, asterisk and all! Especially the word “sponge” being part of it! Completely unique and still definitely cool. : )

    I’ve been thinking a lot about my blog name today especially since it’s St. Patrick’s Day, ha!

  • Hi Grace,
    there IS ALWAYS a cooler name out there. BUT design*sponge or D*S is cool because it stands for all your good work and all you have brought to the blog world. We, readers, accept it as YOUR brand. I know how you feel, because I just did a 2 month’s search for a shop name ;) Thanks for all the good inspiration !!

  • Hi Grace,

    I really like the asterisks, I just dig typography.

    I don’t think you’re dorky at all, you’ve got personal style. I just started my blog last month, so a lot of the names were taken. I like peaches, so I was trying to get something easy to remember yet sort of cute/appealing. I wanted momopeche (taken) then I just started messing with it. I settle with ahappypeach because thehappypeach was taken. I think at this point you go with whatever is left.


  • I really like the name, it’s very fitting for your blog. I started a blog only a couple of months ago, and even now I question why I chose the name, but I put it down to this… it was how you felt about it at the time, so it should be a reminder of when you drift to far from your ‘messages’, to go back to the start – the name :)

  • I think your name is perfect, astrick and all! I really appreciate the honesty. I have been obsessing over the perfect blog name for over a month now. Thanks for being human too.

  • To me, the use of the asterisk in your blog name actually seems to perfectly represent what D*S is all about — it transforms an element that usually serves a purely utilitarian function into an aesthetic feature as well :)

    And for what it’s worth, the name helped grab my attention when I first came across a mention of D*S forever ago. It just seemed so accessible, fun, and not-at-all stuffy that I had to check it out!

  • For what it’s worth, I like the asterisk, both the print and in the blog name! :-) But I do totally sympathize with your blog name regret. The word “girl” is in my site name, even though I was not a “girl” when I started it and am getting further and further away from being a “girl” with every passing year! Oy!

Leave a Reply

Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, that comment on people's physical appearance, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.