Artefact Cards: sign up to be first in line

Artefact is a project I’ve been cooking up for nine months since starting Smithery. I’m delighted to say it’s very nearly ready.

It is a card-based thinking system. They help you organise ideas on your own, create new ideas with others, and tell stories about ideas.

Overly fifty testers have been putting them through their paces, and they’ve proven very useful for everything from creating user journeys and mobile apps to telling stories on a stage, designing organisation training programs and pitching movies.

Essentially, Artefact is a deceptively simple way to change the way you work.




The cards are made specifically to order. They were wrangled by my good friend (and general master of atoms) Tim Milne of Artomatic, and manufactured down in Devon by Axminster Printing. The boxes that hold them are from Moo; Lisa and Gemma there massively helped out here, so thank you both.

Artefact cards are a 250gsm clay coated reference card, with a 5mm radius corner created by platten-cutting the cards.

Platten-cutting is like using a pastry cutter. A very sharp, heavy pastry cutter. It’s shaped to pop the exact piece of card out again, and again, and again. Each card is cut individually, so that the finish is consistently perfect.


Each cutter has a unique fingerprint; a tiny hole left at the edge, so that the cards are easily freed from their steel creator. It means that each card is ever so finely marked with a unique identifying ridge along one side. I’d now know an Artefact card wearing a blindfold. Me, that is, not the card.


This all means that each box is like opening a fresh pack of playing cards. Except, of course, there’s nothing on them…

One side is a white as pure as the driven snow, the other has been dipped in sunshine, otherwise known as PMS012 Yellow. Combined with the finest market pen to grace this earth, the Sharpie 1.0mm fine point, you have the perfect combination of clarity and definition.



I would suggest having a read of this wee instruction manual, which is still very much a work in progress but you’ll get an idea of what it is. It has lots of ideas not just from me, but from all the testers too.

If you want the normal PDF, download from here.

If you want the iBooks format for iPad, download from here.



The first limited edition batch of 100 bundles will be offered first to people on the mailing list, which you can sign up to here:

(just type your email into the box and hit ‘return’)


Each bundle will come with two boxes of cards, two Sharpie fine point pens, and a few other special things we’re making. So one for you, and one for a friend, maybe.

Exact cost TBC, but with VAT and shipping it will be around £30 I think. The plan is to use all the profits from Artefact to keep pushing it further, making bigger and bigger production runs, and bringing the cost down as I do.

I hope I’ve managed to pique your interest enough to sign up above. All that’s left for me to say is…