American Readings

By Tk Published on .

We discovered former copywriter Lane Foard and Squibnocket Cards while listening to the great new spoken word/music CD Writer's Block Party - An Audio Magazine, produced by former copywriter Amy Krouse Rosenthal (see writersblockparty.com for details). On the disc, Foard reads the card seen here, which comes off like a prose poem, as do all the cards in his quirky all-text series, which has become his livelihood. If it sounds like a frustrated copywriter's dream, it is. The San Francisco-based Foard, 31, worked for Goldberg Moser O'Neill for seven years before going freelance, and he started Squibnocket in 1999, "when I forced myself out of the advertising world," he says. "It all started when I did my wedding invitation. These cards are highly derivative of that. It was a way for me to put a lot of copy out there without having a client approve it, and it was the cheapest thing to try to do by myself. I'm probably more of a writer than a copywriter. My copy would usually be too long and it wouldn't come to the point in the first sentence. So I'd have a lot of words left over from clients who didn't use them."

The Squibnocket name is from the Martha's Vineyard area, where his wife's family has a place. "It just sorta sounded funny," Foard shrugs. "Like the kind of thing you can call your brother when your mom says you can't use the word 'asshole.' " The line does not have big distribution, with about a thousand stores nationwide, including Virgin Megastores, but he doesn't need it. "They're more of a higher-price card, not found in Hallmarks." Speaking of Hallmark, any buyout offers? "Yes, and they haven't been accepted. They'd change it, and I'm not interested in adding art. At this point, I still care about what I'm doing, I guess." See sparks.com for the Squibnocket line.

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