Fifty Five Hi's
55 Hi's is an online stationery store I founded and ran for close to 10 years. It started as a fun side project I worked on at night early in my career but went on to gain enough attention to be featured on The Today Show.
I don't have any time these days to push this brand but it built such a following and encapsulates quite a bit of my creative thinking and problem solving I use in all projects that I decided to keep it online as a reference.
To put it in perspective, I started this business from a bathroom in Wilton, CT and designed, copywrited, screenprinted, photographed, ideated, conceptualized, sourced, fulfilled, marketed, managed customers, managed clients and everything in between that comes with running a successful startup until it had almost 20k subscribers and generated 6 figure annual revenue.
Below are a few of my favorite projects from 55 Hi's but the entire site can be viewed including 20 pages of blog posts filled with personality and bad jokes right here.
Shot Glass Card
The Shot Glass card was 55 Hi's most popular release. The concept is a simple novelty but the creation was such an interesting experience and people really seemed to rally around the idea of giving a literal drink as the present.
We made regular cards and versions that hang on bottles and when all was said and done we had written copy for over 12 versions of this idea. We got all kinds of good press and it really helped launch 55 Hi's.
The calendar series was a fun annual themed poster event where I would team up with a fellow illustrator and we would pick a popular theme to illustrate quirky characters around.
Each character in the calendar is illustrated and inspired by a common theme associated with the month it represents. For example, on the Robot themed calendar November is a Robot Turkey for Thanksgiving and also simply because a robot turkey is awesome. I had the pleasure of teaming up with Chris Sandlin to do Junk Food and Monsters and Justin Mezzell for Robots.
The narcissist card series was our deepst foray into the realm of sarcasm we ever did in 55 Hi's. The premise is simple, you are giving a crappy card to the person for an occasion but enclosed is a smaller "thank you" card that is completely over the top gushing in it's presentation. It's an acquired humor but one of my personal favorites.
You may or may not be surprised to discover how hard it is to design cards that have anything to do with any type of graphic around money. I didn't let that stop me in the pursuit of being clever and we were successfully able to create the money cards. The idea being that if you were going to give someone money inside a card it woudl be 10x better if you could dress up the bill. To do so we made clear cellophane sleeves that allowed the user to put a bill inside it and dress President Jackson up into a bunch of fun other characters.
We eventually began to fear litigation cause we were stepping on a bunch of copywrites and messing with money (plus those cellophanes were a huge pain to make) so we slowly let them sell out.
Sign your life away with the customizable contract cards. 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.
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.
Concept and creation of these were done by me.