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Mental Notes

Mark Mzyk | September 12, 2010

My sickness is that I’m fascinated by human behavior, by what’s underneath the surface, by the worlds inside people.

– Johnny Depp


As you open the packaging and peel back the carefully wrapped tissue paper, those are the first words that great you, written in a black bubble on a white sleeve. The sleeve slides off to reveal the beautiful packaging of your Mental Notes – a black faux leather case with a brain etched to one side.

Pulling on the case top, it resists for a minute until the force for the magnet is broken, and it flips open to a felt lined interior. The first thing you notice is the pack of cards and the directions booklet sitting on top of them.

Calling them directions is too straight forward. It’s a suggestion and a why booklet. Suggestions on how you might want to use the cards, the reason the cards are designed as they are, and the reason they came about.

Then you open the cards. They have heft, due to their stock and the amount of them. The color of the cards is muted: a light blue back, grays, whites, and blacks on the front.

The first thing to hit you is the image on the top card. It’s simple, but clearly evokes the title of the card. ┬áThe card is adroitly broken down. A title for the concept. Then a category, followed by a brief description. Next is the image, after which is a paragraph of explanation text. Wrapping it all up are suggestions of related and contrasting cards. It nicely encapsulates an aspect of human behavior, putting it into an actionable piece. It’s a perfect reference that helps to keep the idea at hand. Best of all, there are fifty of them in this pack, putting a wealth of scientific research at your fingertips. A wealth of information with which to make the world a better place.

Then you put them back in the case, putting your favorite in the pocket that seems to have been provided just for that purpose, knowing you’ll revisit the cards many more times, because they’re useful, and also beautiful.

Filed in: Design.