…which people often think stood for the fact that we were building “revision 2” or “release 2” of guardian.co.uk. It didn’t stand for that, not least because this is actually the third or fourth such revision since we launched in 1999. In fact, it stood for “rebuild and redesign”.
However, while plans for the project were still being hatched, and for just a very short time, it had another name. We were just finishing a day planning the project’s priorities and were aware that when The Guardian newspaper changed to its Berliner format the transformation was called internally Project Kennedy. With slightly too much levity at the end of a long day in single room we chose another 60s icon to provide the name for this project. At the time it seemed like a jolly good idea.
Next morning the cold, fluorescent office light of reality hit: no-one wanted to go in front of the board and ask for a large amount of money for something called that. After a flurry of e-mail Mina came up with R2, and everyone liked that — it was neutral and serious.
So R2 it was, and remained.