First came the spring - crammed full of empathy, definition, and ideation cycles. Then came a summer of prototyping and testing with a whole bunch of brilliant creative practitioners across the UK. Now we're firmly in the depths of autumn - during which I've found myself implementing the final product design as I translate the lastest iterative edition of the handmade deck into a fully-fledged digital template ready for printing and manufacture. ..and with the recent arrival of the first test print, I can happily say that Making Sense® V1 is now officially here!
...and I have to say, it's a beautiful thing to behold! So let me geek out on the design and production choices for a moment here - following on from much of the research in the spring, I've gone with the community consensus that these kinds of toolkit products should be designed to look beautiful, make you feel special, and promote a sense of occasion. So I've dispensed with the minimum viable options of low-quality card stock and flimsy tuck boxes, and gone straight into a considered choice of high-quality materials and packaging configurations. Making Sense® features a lux rigid display tray box, with lots of thematic and metaphoric goodies articulated via the design itself. One such feature is revealed when you remove the cards from the tray - here you can see a prism that is no longer diffracting.
...I mean why would it? The cards - the very things that help you diffract the focus of your project into a spectrum of creative solutions - have been taken out of the box, so the design in the bottom of the display tray playfully reflects this. Hello there, little dark isolated prism. Also check out the lid lip insert, featuring a spectrum ribbon running throughout. Phwoar.
The cards themselves have been produced with a high-quality casino-grade black-core linen card stock, featuring a durable textured surface suited to sliding, taping, and sticking to surfaces tables, walls, and worksheets. Ideal for the kinds of rough n ready bluetack barrages that they'll undoubtedly undergo throughout the many planning sessions and creative workshops to come.
Okay, that's enough design fetishising for now. I just wanted to make the case that this has been made with love and attention to detail - dance cards dance! You're loved.
Over the coming weeks, as part of a personally conducted quality-control process - I'll be utilising these cards to plan my first projects as a newly redefined Systems Creative, to make sure the experience of using the cards is working the way it should after all of the iterative trials tweaks and adaptations made to the product during the summer. There's bound to be SOME final refinements needed, and the only way I can spot these is by folding them into some organic processes - ones not engineered specifically for the trials. So it's time to take them to work with me and see how they hold up in the studio when I'm planning projects, when I'm designing workflows, when I'm bidding for funding grants, and when I'm collaborating with others. Keep your eyes peeled folks, I'll be sharing some of the physical workflows that these cards can be thrown into over the coming weeks to help illustrate the workflow experiences of Making Sense® in more detail.