Bye-bye Blogroll

Another South By Southwest has come and gone. I’m not sure if it was the reported doubling of attendees this year, the fresh fatigue from the launch of Mint 2 or the lost hour on Sunday but I just couldn’t seem to keep up this year. All the new faces are a blur and the new names even blurrier. Now that everyone is back and writing about their experiences I’m surprised by records of conversations with familiar faces and names that were somehow lost in the shuffle. I could try to blame it on all the open bars (I somehow managed to leave Austin only $2 shy of my initial ATM withdrawal) but I stuck mostly to water while out and about this year.

So no South By Southwicked this year. Taking over the Wicked’s responsibilities is a photo of my marked-up 2007 Pocket Guide.

Shaun Inman's South By Southwest 2007 Pocket Guide

Solid purple Sharpie (courtesy of the SXSW Interactive bag) indicates a first-choice session, diagonals indicate backup options. Check marks indicate sessions attended and an x (or absence of a check mark) means I skipped that block. Compare against your own pocket guide or check back later once I have a chance to post the photo to Flickr with notes.

As usual the panels I attended paint only a portion of the picture. SXSW is about people. Whether new or familiar, they are largely all creative and that creativity is distilled and distributed on little 2” by 3.5” (give or take) pieces of paper. So without further ado…

The SXSW 2007 Arbitrary Business Card Superlatives

Most “awards” begin with stated criteria that entrants aim to meet or are judged against after the fact. The Arbitrary Business Card Superlatives are a bit different. I see a card I like. I make up a category for it. That way, there are no losers.

Least Surface Area on a Business Card

Tie between Veer and Ordered List.

Veer and Ordered List. Just add water.

Even with all of its design resources Veer still recognizes that small is the new big. Steve Smith understands that transparency can lead to a more credible brand (sorry Steve, I just make this up as I go).

Least Threatening Business Card

Jeremy Hubert. Not a designer. But obviously knows a few.

Jeremy Hubert is not a designer but you wouldn’t know it by the look of this card. Unfortunately the camera’s flash and card’s varnish aren’t playing nice in this photo. Trust me, it’s pretty. And non-threatening.

Best Use of a Bird Silhouette and Wood Grain on a Business Card

Method Arts is for the birds.

There’s just something graphically satisfying about bird silhouettes and rich wood grain. Method Arts successfully recognizes and capitalizes on both.

Best Reuse of a Spot Varnish on a Business Card

Scrapblog uses every part of the animal.

Scrapblog has a ton of talented people working with them and their spot varnish plate is still working double-shifts! That clear varnish on white is a nice touch.

The Best-Laid Business Cards of Mice and Men

Anand. Folk artist. Jetset designer. You decide.

Anand’s cards didn’t arrive in time for the first few days of SXSW. When I ran into him later that week he hooked me up with a proper card. I love how the spot varnish is mimicked with a #2 pencil on the makeshift card.

The Pokemon of Business Cards

Tie between Kevin Cornell aka Bearskin Rug and Jason Andrew Andrew Santa Maria aka Stan.

Not on the cards, Jason has two middle names. They're both Andrew.

Each card in Stan’s set of eight letter-pressed business cards contains a different, revealing fact about the designer (yet somehow fails to mention his double middle name).

Someone set Chef Mojo up the bomb!

Kevin’s cards all start out the same until he works his illustrative mojo. Both prove excellent reasons to “borrow” the business card laden wallets of friends and coworkers (and wives) while roaming the crowded halls of the Austin Convention Center.

An Event Apart Seattle 2007
Shaun Inman
March 18th, 2007 at 10:39 pm
014 (Now closed)



Good show.

Still, you failed to mention the kickin’ weight of the stock used by Warren and gang on the Methodarts cards. Bird, wood grain and weight = best of show (to me).

Sean S
Mar 18th, 2007 10:35 pm

Great collection! And an honor to be on here :)

I loved Kevin’s cards myself.

The whole drawing thing is cool cause it changes it from an informational badge to unique collectible. I think it works great for interdesigner type things like SXSW, clients and corporate people probably don’t care.

Next year I’ll probably take a leaf out of Kevin’s book and do a sort of hybrid.

Mar 18th, 2007 10:48 pm

The Veer cards are very nice and somehow I didn’t manage to get my hands on a Scrapblog card (which look amazing) even though Mike was bowling right next to our team at the Bowling Extravaganza. Oh well.

Patrick Haney
Mar 18th, 2007 11:33 pm

Much what earns respect of you is earnest and careful observation. This post is no less, yet so different.

Methinks the tide of change is ashore; that as the industry and its pundits mature, you may be among the first to detect that frothy blog journalism, inebriated in newness, is wondering whether or not to pull the cord and stop the train.

A complex horizon remains, but telcom is consolidating and slowing in the inertia of its grand and global size.

Niche leaders are growing as always even as these niche are gradually integrating into broad landscapes.

As if merely celebrating a taller grass across a prairie of tall grass, it might be that edge is old hat.

Brian Hayes
Mar 18th, 2007 11:44 pm

Thank you for showing us diferent business cards balanced on both style and good ideas! They’ve made themselves collectionable, specially the Jason’s one.

Mar 19th, 2007 6:53 am

Some nice cards in there, but what did your cards look like Shaun?

Sam Brown
Mar 19th, 2007 6:59 am

Money left over? You did alright there then. I managed that last year but not this time around (I underestimated a little).

There’s a few rounded corners on them there cards. Very Web 2.0. (I’m guilty of the same, though!)

And wasn’t it a blur with all the new faces? Perhaps next year I’ll take photos of everyone holding:

  • Their SXSW pass
  • Their business card
  • A national flag
  • Their tipple of choice

Will make it so much easier to remember post SXSW!

Ian Lloyd
Mar 19th, 2007 11:58 am

Brian, I think you hit the nail on the head. For me anyway. Others with just as many visits to Austin are finding plenty of interesting things to say about this past year.

Sam, my cards were the same a the previous years (just the MORE cards). I didn’t get my ducks in a row in time for proper Mint cards (or tees) this year.

Ian, I meant cash left over. I’m sure there was a sizable chunk missing from my bank account/available credit. I might just tag along with you next year and then refer to your Flickr feed when I need to remember who I chatted with.

Shaun Inman
Mar 19th, 2007 1:24 pm

Looking through my own small collection of cards, Jason’s and Kevin’s stand out just due to the texture of the type. Unfortunately I got a blank canvas from Kevin (maybe a blank stare as well - “who the hell is that kid anyway?”)

Another business card gem was Veerle’s, and a random acquaintance from Sub-Pop records had a pretty sweet card too.

Rob Goodlatte
Mar 19th, 2007 1:53 pm

Great post. Just put up a similar post last night as well.

Six most uniquely creative business cards of SXSWi 2007 … sxswi-2007

Martin Ringlein
Mar 19th, 2007 3:14 pm

Yeah - I’d have to say the Ordered List card is my favorite. Damn smart…

And sorry about the blank card, Rob. Filling every card up with a drawing got harder to keep up with than I thought, so I had to resort to handing out the blanks.

I owe you one drawing next year :D

Mar 19th, 2007 7:32 pm

Unfortunately I got a blank canvas from Kevin (maybe a blank stare as well - “who the hell is that kid anyway?”)

Yeah, Leslie and I had to pinch Kevin for the illustrated version of his card.

Kevin, I can just imagine you sitting in a comfy Hampton Inn chair, fully bearded, quietly chuckling to yourself as you cleverly top the previous 4,999 illustrations—only to look up and find that everyone has already gone home.

Shaun Inman
Mar 19th, 2007 9:53 pm

Well… I just handed the remaining cards out to the music attendees.

None of them carry business cards, though, so I was traded “groupies”.

They’re washing my car right now.

Mar 20th, 2007 2:57 am

Great mix of cards! Thanks for posting these. I haven’t even had a chance to look through the small set of cards I came away with this year.

And it was good to meet you in person, too.

Manton Reece
Mar 20th, 2007 11:38 pm