Artefact cards

A little while back John Willshire got in touch about testing out some of his Artefact Cards, a product he’s developing as part of his marketing and product studio Smithery.

A result of John’s “massive dislike of post-it notes”, the cards are a tactile, sturdy and archivable substitute, something to present to as well as a general brainstorming aid.

For narrative they’re super. I’ve had massive problems in the past with thinking about sequencing stories using cards, but the relatively small face of the Artefact cards means you stick only to essentials, major story beats that allow other elements of character to flow in the writing.

For copywriting I’m still trying things out. The boxing and unboxing of the cards helps throw focus on the architecture of a message or a paragraph – ‘What order should these things be said in?’ – but that creates a new problem, in which I have trouble seeing a message as a deployable object – ‘What needs to go up and when?’ – so they’ve yet to have an airing at GDS.

But, as I type I’m joining the dots on something else I’ve had in my head for a while, copywriting totems. Maybe my next test of the cards could be as little pocketable reminders, things to help thinking when a notebook is too much…

Anyway, if they sound like the sort of thing you might use then John’s made a short run available over at his website. They’re pretty cheap for what’s been a lovely addition to my toolkit.