Sharing Stories, Getting Boxes & Missing Pens

It's been an interesting week of dramatic highs, and lowly lows in the world of Artefact Cards.

I'm actually up in Scotland at the moment, having combined a visit to see some family and friends with an invitation from Cross Creative in Glasgow to spend a day with this year's group - Cross Creative is "a unique and immersive 9 month programme for top creatives in digital media focusing on expanding knowledge and creative horizons and on the importance of the relationships underpinning collaborative projects"

In the morning, I talked about Make Things People Want, mixed in with a bit of Argyle Motor Co / Ford comparisons.  And then we deviated into the Scottish Cringe, and how Scots find it really hard to talk about themselves, specifially when it comes to work and achievements, because of an inbuilt sense of cultural inferiority.

Then in the afternoon, I'd brought everyone a set of Artefact Cards, and went through the project as it stands, how it started, what's gone well, what hasn't and so on.  I thought it would be a good idea to tell the story of Artefact Cards on Artefact Cards, of course, which worked pretty well, I think.  Carole at Cross Creative made us pose in a hammed-up picture of us doing this... part visual-thinking session, part Kays Catalogue...

I'll compile pictures of these cards to share at some stage, probably in SlideShare.

When I got home from the session that evening, Tim had mailed up the first boxes for the new Artefact Kits - the previous iteration, in shiny Artefact Sunshine Yellow, was of course a lovely thing to look at, but I kind of felt that it was dead space... and instead wanted to use the packaging as a visual instruction of 'the sorts of things you can do with these'.

(you can read more about the box adventures and where they lead here).

And it's turned out really quite well, I think...


The refill boxes and trial boxes will be in the same style; I can't wait to sit down with a whole set of the boxes... but I can't do that yet.  Because everything is ready down in Axminster to be shipped out except for one thing; the Sharpies.

Various people pointed out in the previous runs that they'd love the Sharpies to be proper Artefact ones, rather than standard issue... and we had to agree.  "Brand Everything That Moves" is one of Tim's most oft-used phrases (I'm trying to persuade him to do a book of printer's aphorisms).

So we've designed these, which were due to arrive at the end of last week... one Artefact one...

...and this one, featuring MTPW...

Anyone who orders the Autumn Box Set will get one of each, anyone who orders a Trial Pack will get one of them.

They will look terrific, we think.  Except we can only think about them at the moment, because they didn't arrive.  And won't arrive for another couple of weeks it seems.

We could use standard issue Sharpies to ship sooner, of course.  But that's not what we want to do.  It would make every pack seem... incomplete.  Slightly broken. A bit of a let down.

But that's how these things go - there's not more manpower or hours in the day you can throw at something if the atoms aren't in the right place. It's annoying, it's frustrating, but it's part of the learning process.

So, if you'd ordered already, you should have an email in your inbox telling you a little more about what to do.  And if you haven't ordered yet, well, they'll ship in two weeks.

Mind you, if you haven't ordered yet, then maybe you should head over to the shop...

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