This time out we’re chatting with Neil from Deadpan. He and his friend, Nick, started Deadpan for people who don’t like cards. Their unapologetic cards that actually tell the truth have just launched on Scribbler.com and if this Q and A is anything like their cards, this is going to be rather straight-faced... They might just be my new favourite brand.
Hi Neil, thanks for chatting. Your designs are so brilliantly witty, how do you come up with such amazing one-liners? What has inspired you to create such Deadpan (pun intended) cards?
Me and my pal Nick used to sit opposite each other at work, and people would pass round cards for people who were leaving. The cards were always dead cheesy, and half the time we didn’t like the person anyway. Wouldn’t it be funny, we thought, if these cards told the truth: ‘You are moving from one mediocre job to another.’
We kept making each other laugh with deadpan lines for other occasions. But we realised we didn’t have a clue how to run a business. Luckily my cousin Vic is a Chief Financial Officer, or something. So, she does sums.
Your cards have just launched on our site, how did you become involved with Scribbler?
We’ve been stalking you, basically. Scribbler HQ is near my house, so sometimes I just sit outside.
I think I've seen you from my desk! Your range is designed in a really unassuming way, how did you come up this style of card?
Well, they had to look… er, deadpan.
What path did you take you to design your own cards? And do you have any words of encouragement for other aspiring artists/designers?
Me and Nick are writers and can only do words, and Vic can only do numbers. So, our friend Léonie came up with the look. And then we were a nightmare and kept telling her to tweak it.
We were (are) quite clueless about the cards business. But a bit of chutzpah will get you a long way. We went into a lot of little shops and said, ‘Look at our cards. Wanna stock them?’ Some of them said yes.
That’s really interesting, a lot of the people I chat with have design backgrounds, it’s so cool that you’ve taken a different approach. And I love that you guys just went for it, that’s pretty awesome. It can be hard to have those kinds of balls! Do you have a mantra the you live by?
If you can’t say something nice, say something factually accurate.
I think that’s a mantra we should all live by. We’ve got a few quick-fire questions lined up for you now:
What is your favourite tv show?
Doctor Who. For TV show, obviously.
What’s your favourite creative medium?
Confident but sub-par singing.
Favourite type of music?
Everyone should listen to the fantastic Norwegian band Kakkmaddafakka. Seriously.
What’s your favourite card from your Scribbler range?
Oh dear. We disagree all the time. I love this birthday card: ‘Happy growing sense of inadequacy and impending mortality.’ (My neighbour Ben came up with that one.)
Nick likes: ‘Astonishingly, I have remembered our anniversary.’ But probably because it’s his line, and he’s an egomaniac.
Thank you for your time Neil. It’s been brilliant learning all about you guys.
You can check out Deadpan’s range right here. You won’t be disappointed!