What’s in a Name?

Why the silly name, “from Blueprints to Greenbacks”?

I came up with this name about 10 years ago when I first began presenting workshops on financial management for design firms.  It struck me as a fun, but rather anachronistic name for what we do– turn our design work into income.

“Blueprints”    [bloo-prints]  (noun)

  1. a process of photographic printing, used chiefly in copying architectural and mechanical drawings, which produces a white line on a blue background.
  2. a print made by this process.
  3. a detailed outline or plan of action.

When I began my career, our drawings were still being reproduced as blueprints.  The machine was connected to a gallon jug of ammonia, and the smell was awful.  Typically, it was the interns who had to run the machine.

Nowadays, a “blueprint” generally means a strategy or a plan of action.

“Greenbacks”   [green-baks]  (noun)

  1. a U.S. legal-tender note, printed in green on the back since the Civil War, originally issued against the credit of the country and not against gold or silver on deposit.
  2. (slang) a dollar bill.

Today, the word “greenback” is not very common, but nevertheless quite clear in its meaning.

To me, this old-fashioned pair of words still conveys a clear idea, one which is at the heart of what this site is about– how we make a business of what is essentially an art form.