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Michael Cronan (Photo via Wikipedia)

Michael Cronan, the San Francisco designer and artist who came up with product names TiVo and Kindle, died Tuesday after a bout with colon cancer. He was 61.

Cronan came up with names and branding strategies for dozens of companies, including Electronic Arts, Apple, Estee Lauder, Amdocs, Keas and Nintendo.

But he’ll best be remembered for his work on’s electronic reading device, the Kindle, and for coming up with the name TiVo in 1997.

Cronan’s wife, Karin Hibma, told The New York Times that the name Kindle emerged from the idea of wanting to “create something small, humble, with no braggadocio.”

The Kindle, in his view, was “about starting something, giving birth to something,” Hibma recalled.

A partner in the design and branding firm, Hibma will continue to operate the business, one whose mission remains to help companies “define, refine and project who they are, and move forward to capture what they want to become.”

Full obituaries at The New York Times and San Francisco Chronicle.

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