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News – 55 Hi's

Deal With It Greeting Card

If you don't know, we at 55 Hi's frequent Reddit quite a bit. Nothing like losing 4 hours of your day turning links purple but in one of our recent click binges, we though it would be pretty funny to turn one of our favorite memes into card form. Therefore, we are very excited to be introducing the Deal With It Card.  

 

When it's your birthday, don't let anybody tell you what to do. If you are at all familiar with the Deal With It Meme (and if not brush up here), it's a handy way of telling people "I do what I want". What better time when it's your birthday and everybody means less than you?!

Feel free to use these in the face of any and all instances involving but not limited to: throwing cake at others, yelling loud noises repeatedly, calling your boss an asshole, not doing what you're supposed to, quitting your job, making wild baseless accusations, dancing like an idiot, cutting others off in traffic, not filling the ice cube tray, leaving the toilet roll empty, texting with the volume all the way up, being late to meetings, not using turn signals, stealing lunch from the office fridge, talking in the bathroom, spreading out on public transportation, not paying rent, and drinking milk straight from the carton.

Father's Day Cards

We also just got done with our newest batch of Father's Day cards! June 21st always hits fast and we now offer free shipping on all card orders. So, don't find yourself in the CVS card section getting slim picking on the way to your parent's house. 

 

 

Finding Our Voice

Wow. What a month if I do say so myself. It's interesting, we have released more cards in the last 4 weeks, than we have in the last 2 years and it's been a blast the entire time. This week we released 8 new Chart Cards and 4 new Roses are Red cards. I'm learning a lot about myself, business, and moving forward. I'd like to share a few of those things that I've learned.

Finding Our Voice

I found this blog post a little over a year ago from Emily McDowell where she talks about defining your brand's voice that really stuck with me. For a while in the beginning of 55 Hi's we were making things that were fun and interesting but on the whole, it felt like a collection of unrelated products with semi-conflicting tones. They had similarities like typography, vintage feels, and interesting concepts but on the whole there was no way to know what was coming next. In some ways I found that liberating but in many more I found it very stressful. Without a backbone to build off of, it felt like every product was a new adventure instead of building up a cohesive collection.

After reading that post, it became apparent to me how much I desired finding our "flowers". I kept saying that word over and over because I felt like, in a case like Rifle Paper Co's, their style can put the brand's wonderfully illustrated flowers on just about any product and it's going to look amazing and feel like Rifle. I really wanted that integrity and consistency but I had no idea what it was. I wanted my flowers.

From there, I spent the next few months trying to pinpoint my 3 adjectives that describe 55 Hi's. I didn't want to force it either. I'm not making a business for fortune. Yes, the ultimate goal is to make enough money to make a living, but more-so for me it's to make a brand I enjoy running that is reciprocal with it's fans and makes everyone happy. 

We brainstormed for a while and eventually ended up landing on Honest, Relatable & Witty with one footnote: that it's conceptually driven. When we brainstorm as a team, the most fun we have is making ourselves laugh. It's where we find almost all the value in an idea and ultimately whether or not it's worth keeping. We also typically seem to grasp onto large themes and then brainstorm around that. For instance, the two series we just released were Chart Cards and Roses are Red cards. Both those ideas started with "I bet there is a funny concept here involving poems/charts". We then brainstorm as many ideas as possible using that framework and keep the best of the bunch. 

Thinking Up New Ideas

Once we started operating this way on a more consistent basis, the whole operation felt way more fun and relatable in so many ways. In the beginning, I designed cards that tried to appeal to as many people as possible at once. I thought it was what people wanted but what ended up happening instead is it appealed to everybody kind of. What's that saying? If you make something nobody hates, nobody will love it.

What I'm learning is, letting your own personality come through the products is what makes the brand and the items interesting. The team I brainstorm ideas with are naturally Honest, Sarcastic and Clever so the whole brand is just an honest extension of the conversations we're already having. 

In fact, one of the most interesting oddities I find happening on a consistent basis is when we brainstorm new ideas, funny things that make it to the final design are things that I put in as a literal joke. I mean, I'm not putting the line in the design for consideration, I'm putting it in as a joke to make my friends laugh and it ends up staying cause the joke actually does that. A good example of this was the herpes copy on the House Cleaning Contract Card. I put that in there during one of the early drafts as a funny little thing thinking nobody would notice and I would get a good laugh out of it and everybody I showed it to specifically pointed that section out as their favorite!

On the flip side of idea making for instance (and I'm going to be extremely candid here for the sake of transparency) one of my personal least favorite posters I ever made is the Stop and Smell the Roses poster. Do you know why? Cause the road to making that poster was forced. I thought at the time, it would really be nice to release something a little more feminine in the shop. What a stupid way to think about making something new if I say so myself. I don't think the poster is bad or looks bad, but I do think it's not true to the brand or something I feel very confident in. To me it feels exactly like what it is - a man trying to make something they think a woman likes. It was made like a business person thinks and that's not honest or clever. 

 

I think on the whole, these are some things I'm learning about making cards or ideating new products for us as a shop, but we'll see where it takes us for products like posters. I don't think witty and clever will translate quite so well to items we put up on our walls for long periods of time but maybe there is a happy medium involving conceptually driven series that have clever elements in them.

One thing is for sure, we now have a backbone to build off of and everyone knows what they can expect for future goodies from us. We have at least one very very interesting new product coming out that should hit the shop in late May but otherwise we'll just keep trying to make you chuckle. 

Quantity Breaks

We are so happy and eager to announce some new changes to the shop. We have been doing our fair share or tidying up (hopefully you can tell) and in doing so have made some long overdue improvements to shopping on the 55 Hi's store.

There are more changes a-coming (including gifting cards!) but the change just recently pushed to the site is the ability to mix and match cards in any combination to save some moolah. It's all done automatically while you shop (so don't fret!) but it's worth noting the more cards the more you save. In fact, if you can find 12 cards you dig, you can get a whopping 40% off your order. No more being chained to 6-packs of the same card ever again!

Shot Glass Cards

At long last, the newest batch of Shot Glass Cards is here! This time around, we did it right, and worked up an entire batch of new designs centered around our most popular concept to date. 

Almost all of these cards are Birthday themed in some fashion or another but we had a lot of fun ideating around other occasions a shot glass might be appropriate. Many didn't rise to the top but one of the favorites was a shot glass for new parents that everyone liked. 

Check out the whole series right here. 

Wiskia Tee

I was so very fortunate to get the opportunity to work with the fine folks over at Wistia (a professional video hosting service you should definitely check out) on a T-Shirt for their annual comapny Ski Trip they do every year. They sent over a video today of the literal unboxing and it made my day. It's so cool making stuff for cool people. I hope the doggie gets one too.

Contract Cards

It’s been a long time coming but we are so happy and proud to introduce our newest additions to the shop: The Contract Cards. Poor in money but rich in self deprecating gestures? Sign your life away with these customizable contract cards good for multiple occasions. Although the topics are endless, we decided to focus this first series of 6 on Sexy Dances, Body Massages, House Cleanings, Laundry Loads, Makeout Sessions and Servitude.

As if signing yourself up for menial obligations weren’t enough, we decided to add a few terms and agreements to make the contract a little more fun… and definitely embarrassing.

Within each card you will find a customizable binding agreement between two people. You and the Client (or the person you’re giving it to). After filling out the front of the card and adding a few loving notes, you can either sign your life away in advance or wait to review the terms line by line before giving it your John Hancock.

Everyone likes to see how our ideas come to fruition and this one has been quite a while in the making. Originally, frequent collaborator SockMonkee sent over the idea of doing a bunch of sexy cards with the idea that they would be giftable coupon cards that you could cash in at a later date.

The concept really hit home but after doing some digging, it turns out Coupon Cards (like everything else) has already been done before. We could certainly do our own line of Coupon Cards and it would probably be fine but we really strive to put our own 55 Hi’s twist on things to keep it fresh.



Not to be deterred by our Pinterest research on coupon cards, we kept up with the idea for a little bit and discovered that even funnier than the actual coupon was very often the little footnotes that get added to the coupon. For instance, a massage is great but how funny is a massage where the person giving it has to refer to you as “Matt Damon.”

As we kept brainstorming down this path of funny footnotes, what they really started to feel like were terms of a contract. When we just let it naturally go in that direction, the writing for the cards became much easier and more fun. Infusing the communication with our mock legal jargon was a blast and really gave the cards a life of their own.

We finished the first draft and one of the hurdles that we discovered were a lot of the terms that we were coming up seemed like they might polarize an audience. For instance, we had some really great zingers in there about pop culture but not everybody knows Lord of the Rings and cult movie references like we do so many of the jokes felt like they might not hit home with everyone.

Just like the saying, every challenge is another opportunity to make it better, that is exactly what happened here. The concept really started to take on a life of its own when we introduced the ability to customize the card by filling in the blanks. It solved the problem of making the card more interactive and personal while still keeping it funny. In many instances it would be even funnier because inside jokes could be infused into the contract.

The design of the card also took quite a few turns. Initially I wanted to keep all the communication on the front of the card. From a photography/shareability perspective, it’s much easier to digest one image of the card than it is to show the front and the inside. What ended up happening was it became way too busy. We had the theme, the names, the communication, the terms , and the signatures all on an A7 card and the process of filling out the card was confusing with so much information on the front and the problem I was trying to solve was being made worse.

Once we decided to make the front just an attractive scenario of setting up the two parties involved and the inside devoted strictly to terms and signatures, it gave the whole card a lot more balance and us a whole lot more room to add terms.

You can pick up the whole pack here for some pretty amazing savings and if you happen to have some good themes you think would make a great contract card, please share them with us!

Gearing Up

Shot Glass Card Catalog

Things have been a little dormant over here on the surface but believe me, it's the calm before the storm. We decided it was time to refocus our energies and had a serious sit down for the 2015 year. What is feasible? What do we want to make? What's our most popular items? For the last question at least, it was a no brainer: our Shot Glass Cards have been a hands down best seller.

I think sometimes, as a maker, you get lost in the chase of a new great idea and than once you get it, the chase is over and it feels like work. When I made the original shot glass card a little over two years ago, the reception was out of control but after the initial wave, the drive to continue releasing an idea I had already "conquered" (for lack of a better term) felt tired. A true business person would probably exploit a successful idea. Hell, just a reasonable person would probably do that, but I decided to move on to other ideas like an idiot.

Well, now almost two years later, we decided to revisit our most famous release and bring it back with a collection of 12 fun new designs. These will be hitting the shop in the next few weeks. I don't want to release the whole shindig quite yet, but here is a teaser of my favorite one of the bunch.

Shot Glass Card Older & Wiser

Also (and I don't ask for this often) but we are going to be actively pursuing getting these in some shops. We ordered 14,000 of them, which is about 12,000 more than our standard run we are comfortable with so we will be actively trying to throw them at as many people as fast as possible. It was a pretty big leap of faith to make a commitment like this and this means we are going to have to become a little salesman-y for a paragraph. 

If you have a suggestion for a local store you think the Shot Glass Card line would be a great fit for, please do make an introduction or shoot me an email with any info at info@55his.com. In fact, if you have any tips of any kind or anyone who might be into this idea, please let me know. In that email, if you can include your own address, we will send out a free shot glass card for the lead and because you're an amazing person. 

And as always, if you want more updates from us including when the new shot glass cards are hitting the shop, sign up for the newsletter or head over to our Instagram page.

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