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As many of you know, we have been experimenting with cards a lot lately. For me this experiment started way back in the mid 1990s, when I was employed by BT. Back then some of us were encouraged to have our business cards made to double up as prepaid payphone calling cards. The stock images we could choose to go on the card were typically corporate and boring. So I decided to design my own. I took a photo of a cloudy sky and retouched the photo with BT blue and red. The card manufacturer happily took my design and made a run of 200 cards from it. I received a mild rebuke from my boss for going it alone, an early sign of “Proceed Until Apprehended”, and the card became quite collectable due to its limited nature.

Doug Shaw's BT Business Card

Doug Shaw's BT Business Card

Fast forward to 2010 and Vandy Massey helped to reignite the experiment fantastically with her beautiful hand painted water colours. We encouraged folk to design their own cards for a workshop and the response was excellent.

Last week I designed a few more cards with a distinctly festive theme. I gave them to friends, they chose their favourite colour then I added a little note to the card. And as you can see from the picture at the top of this post someone has since taken the design and made their own interpretation of it. Well done to Alison Chisnell’s daughter, the experiment grows.

This morning I heard from Vandy Massey again. One of Vandy’s friends has been inspired by this hand made experiment and she too has designed her own Christmas card. Fantastic!

I was recently asked “how do you find the time to do this – when do you do any work?” Truth is I’m lucky enough to see this experiment as part of my work. I fit it in – sometimes even making cards when I can’t sleep.

I don’t know where this experiment will go in 2011. It’s already been contributed to by more people than I expected and I hope it will adapt and emerge in more places next year too. I’m looking forward to it. Thanks to everyone who has taken part so far.

How do you like to make your mark? I’d be very interested to hear from you if you want to participate in this experiment or if you are already doing something a little different then please share it with us.


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