I needed a company name when I incorporated my business and no such decision is taken lightly by an Architect, its the curse of being a comprehensive designer. I struggled for a long time, nothing seemed to fit and I didn’t want a Ltd Co that used my name. Eventually I recalled at the age of 14 coming home from school having excelled at Technical Drawing and professing my desire to be a draftsman. My late Father turned to me and said why be a draftsman, aim high, be the Architect.
So I did.
Dad was one of a family of 10 from west Wales, poor farmers who had very little, yet the 7 surviving children all made it to the not so local Grammar School and later excelled in their own chosen fields. At Dad’s funeral, a few months after I became a self employed ‘sole trader’, a cousin asked why I had chosen Architecture as a career, there being no other Architects in the family, so I relayed the above story. A Brother overheard and recalled that Dad had also given him similar advice at the same age; aim high. The one surviving uncle smiled and explained that the motto of Whitland Grammar School had been ‘aim high’.
Being a graduate of the Welsh School of Architecture myself, I looked into this and found that the literal translation of the motto was ‘the aim is high’ and in Welsh was “I Fyny fo’r Nod”, not really suitable for a Company name. Thinking laterally before discounting it entirely, I looked the other way and found the literal translation of ‘aim high’ was “amcanu’n uchel”. Later finding out the verb ‘amcana’ of which ‘amcanu’ is the imperative, could also translate to the verb ‘to design’ really sealed the decision for me.
So there you have it, Amcanu’n Uchel translating as ‘aim high:design well’ with a bit of sentiment thrown in for good measure.