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Naming Guidelines

We would love to see people who are stoked about Makey Makey™ spreading its big ideas around the world: helping everyone be a maker, catalyzing creative making, repurposing everyday materials, and making creative technology more accessible to everyone. One way to do that is for you to make products/projects that are compatible with Makey Makey (with their own unique flavor).

Examples of Compatible Projects/Products:

  1. A wooden case for Makey Makey
  2. A sensor that you plug into the Makey Makey (light sensor, temperature, etc.)
  3. An adapter for Makey Makey to extend its functionality (e.g. to work with Playstation)
  4. A big collection of buttons that you can plug into the Makey Makey

Or maybe you just want to make a website? These naming guidelines apply to urls and website names too.

Great! I Want to Make a Makey Makey Compatible Product/Project, Now What?

That's fantastic. We encourage you to contact us and/or post to the forums to get feedback and make your product/project even better. Please have fun. If you want to partner with us, we may be willing to.
  • If we don't form a partnership, then you have to ensure you name your project in a way that is within fair use of the trademark. See below for some suggestions in naming your product, project, business, url, etc... which might help you stay in fair use.
You are of course free to use the name Makey Makey in blogging or within the body of tutorials, etc. These are naming guidelines for naming your project, entity, website, etc.

Naming Guidelines

Many people have asked us about this, so we now offer these guidelines on how to name your compatible products/projects in a way that we feel supportive of and that could possibly be fair use:

For naming your projects, products, or anything else you are making (website url, etc.), here is our number one guideline:
  • Please come up with your own name.
See While we do want people to build on our shoulders (or in any other direction), we don't want other people to pretend to be us. We are us, and we like being us. This is similar to other projects that give out their source code, such as Arduino, Scratch, or Mozilla, which have similar guidelines that say you can't use their name as your own. You are not "Makey Makey", that is a mark of our project and product. Likewise, please come up with your own logo, etc., instead of using ours.

You cannot use the Makey Makey trademark or substantial pieces of the trademark (if you are naming a compatible product / project / business / url / etc.) in these ways:

Naming Formats That Are Not Okay Except for Makey Makey Partners:
  • ______ Makey (for example, "My Makey")
  • Makey ______ (for example, "Makey Music")
  • Makey Makey Compatible ______ (for example, "Makey Makey Compatible Ethernet")
  • __akey (for example, "Snakey")
  • __akey __akey (for example "Cakey Makey")
  • __key __key (for example Milkey Milkey)
Where "______" represents any number of words and "__" represents any number of letters.

See exceptions and concrete examples below for clarification.

Instead of using the Makey Makey trademark or pieces of it directly in the name, use terminology like the following:

Terminology for Compatibles that use the word "Makey" in a way that feels good to us and is probably fair use
  • _______ for Makey Makey
  • _______, compatible with Makey Makey
  • _______ (Makey Makey compatible)
(note: the _______ is where your original name goes)

This helps people understand that you yourself or your project/business/webpage are not Makey Makey, but your product is related to Makey Makey, which is more accurate.

Had we named ourselves "Arduino Button Machine" or something, we would have been going against Arduino's naming guidelines, and more importantly we probably never would have been seen as a totally unique project and product (as we now feel we are seen).

(this section was heavily inspired by Arduino's guidelines)

Specific Naming Examples

Names that match the guidelines are in Green, ones that don't are in Red

These examples are meant to help you interpret the above guidelines, and to give you creative inspiration so that you can make and name your projects and products successfully and while having fun.
  1. If you make a wooden case project and perhaps you share it online so others can replicate it, and you want to name your project, you could call it "CircuiTree, for your Makey Makey," or just call it "CircuiTree." But don't call it "Makey Makey Brand Wooden Case."
  2. If you make a temperature sensor switch product that is compatible with Makey Makey, you might want to call it "Tempy Tempy", and that would be within the guidelines. Or you could call it "Tempy Switch, for Makey Makey" . But you couldn't call it "Makey Makey Temp Switch" without explicit permission from the Makey Makey team (in any of these examples the Makey Makey team at JoyLabz can always make an exception to the rule, so we won't keep repeating this point throughout).
  3. If you make an adapter for Makey Makey that lets you use it with Playstation, then it wouldn't be okay to call it "Makey Station". Instead call it something like "Invent-a-Key, for use with Makey Makey and PlayStation".
  4. If you get a hundred buttons that would be good to use with Makey Makey and sell them as a kit, then call them something like "ButtTon ButtTons", but don't call them "Makey Button Collection".

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