What does Atto mean?

atto – (ǎ’•tōh) metric prefix; a metric division, as in micro or nano; one quintillionth or 10-18 of a unit; very very small

Derek Mah Attoboy Logo
Yep, logo and website, attoboy.com

Back when I held the belief that it was fashionable to maintain a studio name for myself, atto came to my attention. The term combines math and science with a bouncy feel, which is how people might describe me. It was preceded by numerous options such as Blue Cheese Design, Loco•Motive, and Cornerstone. Yes, those initial forays began with cheese, and ended with a brick.

Part of the appeal of atto, especially when it was the smallest division*, is the implication of  working to the finest detail or of digging deeper to reveal the finest detail. My work has always reflected that psychology, so it was a good fit. Thus was born attoboy.com, atto-site-o-matic, attotales, attotunes, attostream, atto-anime-o-matic, the fortress of attotude… you get the idea. There was an entire decade where pretty much everything had atto in the name.

Today atto is carried forward both as a reminder and continuation of that past. Detail, math, science, and fun remain integral considerations in everything. It seems appropriate to tag these thought meanderings accordingly.

*atto was the smallest metric division at the time. It has since been superseded by yocto, which is 10-24 of a unit.

Derek Mah Atto boy moon cats flame