Startup Trading Cards

A Kickstarter backed project, we made collectible cards for 163 unicorn startups. Part scrap of history and part coffee table art, the cards are a fun way to get to know the VC space and were a fascinating design challenge.

After prototyping in InDesign, full production moved to Django HTML templates and CSS styling. The data work ultimately produced the most comprehensive dataset on unicorns. Interesting challenges included: how to display funding information, collecting quality data on deliverately secretive firms, appropriate city images for card backgrounds, quality control on data, and designing for physical trading cards in a world of mobile and web standards.

  • Role: Design & Data
  • Tools: Kickstarter, InDesign, Photoshop, Python, Django, HTML/CSS, business intelligence research, paper and exacto
  • Duration: 6 months
  • Year: 2016

163 unique cards sold in packs of 20.

Data pipelines drew from about seven sources, cleaning, highlighting inconsistencies, and finally producing a simple JSON dictionary. I learned the language and libraries for this project.

Final card design lists business categories as icons on front, showing funding by year with other details on back. I designed this and reviewed it with potential customers

The legend card shows icons used for business categories for all companies in the set. It's surprising what is common for unicorns and what is not! Icons from public domain.

Shipped Piles of packs, wrapped in black Tyvek with custom wax seal, ready to ship domestically and overseas. My design.