Valentine’s Day goes to the geeks with science-themed cards
By Cheryl Minns, Arts Editor
Now that Christmas is over, it’s time to start thinking about the next card-giving holiday: Valentine’s Day. No longer just a holiday for mushy romantics, Valentine’s Day is about to get geeky with Nerdy Words, a new card-making company from Tottenham, Ontario.
Founder Christine Snyder, who has a Ph.D. in Biomedical Science and a background in graphic and website design, recently ran a successful Kickstarter campaign to fund the production of six Valentine card designs that cover a variety of science topics, including physics, chemistry, biology, computer science, and statistics.
“I wanted to introduce new sources of humour to academics, scientists, and all-around science lovers, and I thought greeting cards were a very personalized way of doing so,” Snyder wrote to the Other Press. “There are very few science-related greeting cards currently on the market, and I think it provides the intellectual community a unique way to express their nerdy feelings.”
The Valentines feature geeky phrases such as “Your energy excites my photons” and “For my statistically significant other,” accompanied by Snyder’s illustrations of animated hearts with DNA fragments, light bulbs, Schrödinger’s cat, and more.
“I am a frequent visitor of estate sales and auctions, and I just love vintage cards, books, posters… really anything! This was my inspiration for the illustrations,” she wrote. “I tried to cover as many disciplines as possible for the sayings, so that I could reach a large audience.”
Snyder also expects the Valentines will appeal to those outside of the geek and nerd community. Fans of the television show The Big Bang Theory will likely recognize concepts like Schrödinger’s cat, which has been mentioned in the show.
“I have had many non-geeks express their interest in the cards,” she wrote. “I love how The Big Bang Theory has really bridged a gap between the science and the non-science community, and I hope that fans of the TV show will also find the cards humorous.”
The Valentines were also designed to be environmentally responsible, so the cards are printed on recycled and uncoated cardstock, the envelopes are made from recycled post-consumer waste, and the product is packaged in compostable, plant-based cellophane bags.
“The shipping materials are also recycled/recyclable/biodegradable, which is something that is very important to me and hopefully others,” Snyder wrote. “I feel that eco-friendly shipping materials get overlooked by many companies, and now that online shopping is becoming more and more popular, it is important that our shipping material does not just end up in the garbage.”
The Kickstarter campaign raised over $2,500 from more than 100 backers, becoming a Kickstarter Staff Pick and more than doubling its $1,000 funding goal.
“The Kickstarter campaign has exceeded my expectations!” Snyder wrote. “I am so excited that we met our goal and I plan to use the additional funds to get our website and online shop up and running quickly. That way if anyone misses out on the campaign they can still order Valentines online.”
Nerdy Words will eventually expand to include science-themed cards for other holidays such as Christmas, Easter, and Mother’s Day. The company currently has a line of birthday cards in the design phase, which will be the focus of Nerdy Words’ next Kickstarter campaign scheduled for February/March.
For more information about Nerdy Words, check out the website at nerdywords.ca