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I, The Jury

  • Words: Andy Clarke

I asked: Web designers are cool, but private detectives are cooler. No argument, but why can’t you be both? The answer? You can.

With eighty-one hardboiled business cards, it was a tough job to choose the nine designs I will be including in “Hardboiled Web Design”.

Here, in no particular order, are the eight people who will receive a shiny new S&N pin and their design will appear in “Hardboiled Web Design”.

Dames and dicks


What can I say about Cole Henley? Anyone willing to put their name to The No.1 Lady Boys’ Detective Agency certainly has, err, balls.


pixelflips’ design has bags of style and a catchy agency name, but what I like best of all is that I can really see this card working for a real detective. Albeit one with a huge ’tache.


From all of the geek-themed designs, Andrew*’ Command F Detective Services is clever and beautiful. If I was having this card printed I would insist on embossing the type and fingerprint motif.


A later entry, Dennis Kardys certainly knows his detective stories. Aside from the obvious Hitchcock reference, the agency name plays off the classic Dashiell Hammet novel “The Thin Man”, as well as the Sydney Greenstreet’s character in the “Maltese Falcon”.


Next time I redesign my own business card, I’m hiring Brian Hart. Brian also won geek points for showing how he built up texture in the design.


Laura Fisher may be a dame, but her design for Nick Jefferies captures a period feel while staying contemporary.


Sherlock Holmes might have been the antithesis of a hardboiled detective, but Ben Cardy’s Elementary won me over with its Don’t call us. We’ll. find you tagline.


I love Paul Randall’s Shoes Clues Detective Agency design because it’s so very different than I expected, especially that he made two versions, with and without worn texture to show how this card would fare in the real world.

Everyone above, please send me your postal address and you will receive a shiny new S&N pin and your design will appear in “Hardboiled Web Design”

My favourite


It was a tough choice with so much talent on show, but for me Stephen Hay summed up everything about hardboiled: the smoke with a dame’s erotic curves, the quiet self-confidence. If I was a detective, this is the card I’d want in my wallet.

Stephen, send me your postal address and which For A Beautiful Web DVD you’ll. prefer and I will put it in the mail to you.

Notable mentions


I plan on using Jen Strickland’ Samantha Spade design to help me demonstrate Webkit’s CSS masks experimental properties.


Likewise, iPjtr’s beautiful border is perfect to demonstrate CSS3 border-image properties. Both Jen and iPjtr will receive a pin too.


How could I round off without mentioning Elliot Jay Stocks? But as Elliot lives down the road and I see him all the time, he can have a pin when he brings back my lawnmower.

If you contributed but your design didn’t appear here, don’t worry about missing out. If you’re attending a conference I’m speaking at this year, come up, say hello and hit me up for a pin too. I want to say a huge thank-you to everyone who gave up their time, creativity and kindness.


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