Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Unpick to open - Snail Mail 10, Email 0

"Unpick to open" is the title of a simply amazing post from The Missive Maven.

USA based Missive Maven received a letter from England. 
Not your average letter mind you... An entirely embroidered letter from an unnamed, hugely talented, seamstress.

Long live beautiful and artistic snail mail..!
More images, more words: The Missive Maven

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Design: Bookmark - Haunted Mansion

Print your own Haunted Mansion bookmark and include it with your Cool Card as a simple and special gift.

  1. Print out the bookmark and the bookmark holder on regular paper or cardstock and cut out the pieces, including the "window" on the front of the bookmark holder. Do not cut along the fold lines.
  2. Fold the bookmark holder in half along the fold line so the illustration is on the outside. Fold the tabs on the sides inward. Spread glue over the tabs and glue them to the inside of the back of the holder. You should now have a pouch with an opening at the top.
  3. Fold the bookmark at the half way line so the illustrations are on the front and the back of the bookmark. Glue the backs together. Punch a hole at the top of the bookmark and tie a string or ribbon through the hole. Now you can slide your bookmark out of the holder to reveal the grim fates of the Portraits."
PDF image of bookmark.

Design: Dear Photograph - Then & Now

Photographs preserve a moment in time, memories and events.
"Dear Photograph" provides a delightful twist.

"Dear Photograph is a photo blog with a simple premise: old snapshots are brought back to the site where they were originally taken and are photographed in the present day. The result is a fascinating then and now photograph."

Add yours at Dear Photograph

View more and contribute: Dear Photograph 
Via: Laughing Squid

We blogged a similar idea back in 2009...
"Chino Otsuka inserts modern photos of herself as an adult into photos of herself as a child."

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Rocket Mail

Just a quick big up to Cool Cards before we get started...

"A quick word to thanks for your stunningly good service in supplying a card I ordered yesterday afternoon. Within a few minutes I received your acknowledgement, within a few more I received a message to say it had been shipped. (I took the latter with a pinch of salt!) And yet the postman handed me my order this morning at 8.30, well packed in a card-backed envelope. Wow! Even in these days when we all appear to expect everything yesterday (and end up being disappointed), this is very impressive indeed. You must have had someone waiting at the computer, someone else holding open the envelope, and the engine kept running outside, with an escorted drive to the post office! Whatever - I'm delighted, not least by the unusual card, which fits the bill very well. Many thanks, we will certainly add your site to our 'favourites' for future reference. Regards,

Order from Cool Cards before 4.30pm and there's every chance that your UK mainland order will be on your doorstep the following morning. Thanks to the fantastic service of Royal Mail. But it's not rocket science. Or was it?

Get this. Purpose built rocket mail delivery was first sent between two Austrian villages in 1931.

"Friedrich Schmiedl launched the first rocket mail with 102 pieces of mail between Schöckl and St. Radegund, Austria. Schmiedl also launched rockets on 21 April 1931 from the Austrian town of Schöckl to Kaite Rinne with mail and a spectrograph. After the April flight, 79 specially printed postcards marked in German with "Flown in Instrument Rocket" bear stamps from the flights.

Gerhard Zucker experimented in the 1930s with powder rockets similar to fireworks. Between 1931 and 1933, he travelled throughout Germany displaying his rocket and claiming that it could be used to deliver mail.

After moving to the United Kingdom, Zucker attempted to convince the General Post Office that postal delivery by rocket was viable. After initial demonstrations on the Sussex Downs in southern England, rockets were launched on 28 and 31 July 1934 over a 1600-metre flight path between the Hebridean islands of Harris and Scarp in Scotland. Around 1.07 m long with a diameter of 18 cm, the fuselage was packed with 1,200 envelopes. Unfortunately for Zucker both rockets exploded, though most of the smaller second cargo, which included survivors of the first, was saved.

Stephen Smith, a Secretary of the Indian Airmail Society, combined his work with his interest in rocketry. His first launch was on 30 September 1934, and he experimented with 270 more by 4 December 1944. 80 of these contained mail, and his achievements include the first successful rocket mail sent over a river and the first rocket to carry a parcel. The Oriental Fireworks Company supplied Smith with 16 rockets between 23 March 1935 and 29 June 1935. Between them, these "Silver Jubilee" flights carried over a thousand covers.

In 1992 the Indian government issued a stamp to celebrate the centenary of Smith's birth, calling him "the originator of rocket mail in India".

Then, 28 years after Schmiedl, the Americans got in on the act... and as always have to go that one bit bigger... with a nuclear missile (Hotmail anyone?).

"An American attempt in 1959, was something entirely new, because the mail was not packed in rockets built for the purpose but stowed in mail containers that replaced a nuclear warhead on top of a missile built for war. Because this was strictly an experiment, the mail consisted entirely of commemorative postal covers addressed to a host of government officials, including President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

The missile was fired shortly before noon from a launcher aboard the submarine USS Barbero, cruising off the coast of Virginia. Twenty-two minutes after launch, the missile struck its target at the Naval Auxiliary Air Station in Mayport, Florida.

The mail was retrieved, sorted and routed in the usual way from a post office in nearby Jacksonville."

The SSM-N-8 Regulus cruise missile was used for one attempt to deliver mail.

Astronautix: Friedrich Schmiedl
IMDB: The Rocket Post
Stamps of King George V Silver Jubilee: Indian Rocket Mail

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

TV in a greeting Card - what will they think of next?

Well, not exactly TV in a Card, but certainly a very cute Video in a Card. 

Opening the TV in a card reveals a unique 4.3 inch, 320 x 240 resolution, 16:9 aspect ratio LCD display with built-in storage for about 30 minutes of your own video footage. Each card has speakers and headphone jack, and the battery is rechargeable via the included USB port. Card sizes are A5 to A4.

"Battery and storage capacity can be increased to allow for upto 7.5 hours of video. Customers can opt to have the video auto-start when the card is opened or manual control buttons. It is also possible to load several MPEG, MOV or AVI format videos into one TV in a Card folder, which can be set to automatically play one after the other in order or be individually selected by the user."

"The card makers have a two strand approach to the TV in a Card launch.  They will initially target a corporate audience but are close to launching a consumer website for people to design their own cards."

Currently "At a cost of around £55 per card it is more suited to corporate promotional uses than birthdays and Bar Mitzvahs. However, founder Russell Lawley Gibbs believes that the cards will be good for special occasions. He said: “This is brand new technology and is only about 2 months old.  At the moment we are talking to advertising agencies for corporate promotions.  However there is a large market for greetings cards and we see them working well for things like wedding videos or new baby announcements”. 

Lovely idea. A no-brainer 21st century development on the wonderful novelty audio greeting cards we've all groan (sic) to love over recent years... No doubt costs will fall and screen sizes and options will increase... But £55..? No interaction? No Wifi? No webcam? We jest - for now... 

But really, £55? 4.3 inch screen, 30 minute 320 x 240 res video, for a card? 

Undoubtably demonstrating creative and very strong real-world marketing opportunities within the commercial world; with the exponential growth of smartphone and tablet apps, does TV in a Card have the usp to develop and sustain a strong retail consumer base? Especially when less than £200 gets you a 10 inch Android PC Tablet. We hope so.

Regardless, it's yet more good news for the ever innovative and creative British greeting card industry that this product is available. It'd be great to see TV in a Card succeed, especially if they can create the demand, develop the product and move the decimal point one place to the left. And the way things go nowadays, it seems entirely possible.

Check out the TV in a Card website, they have some very nice video examples.

Source: Greetings Today
Source: TV in a Card

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Design: Adbusters

We recently added some great new Banksy Cards to Cool Cards.

In a similar vein, enjoy these Adbuster spoof adverts.

Who are Adbusters? "We are a global network of culture jammers and creatives working to change the way information flows, the way corporations wield power, and the way meaning is produced in our society."

"Culture Jammers" ? A great example of 'culture jamming' would be The Yes Men.
The Yes Men: "Impersonating big-time criminals in order to publicly humiliate them. Our targets are leaders and big corporations who put profits ahead of everything else."

Source: Adbusters
Source: The Yes Men

Video. The Yes Men Fix The World official trailer
Video: The Yes Men Fix The World entire movie