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Cards Against Humanity Expansions

Art Direction
Cards Against Humanity is a party game for horrible people. Each round, one player asks a question from a black card, and everyone else answers with their funniest white card. Since the game was released in 2010, Cards Against Humanity has been releasing themed expansion packs to go with the main game. This keeps gameplay fresh and interesting.

As the Lead Designer at Cards Against Humanity, I was responsible for leading the design team with the creative direction, design, and production for all of the company’s products and marketing. We collaborated closely with the company’s founders to conceive and execute the creative vision for all projects. Our role marked a shift within the company, where creative power was slowly passed from the of eight men who founded the company to four young female designers. Here’s a list of every project I worked on.

The Retail Product was released for Cards Against Humanity’s 2016 Target debut. Previously, the game was only available online, at local comic book and game shops, and at gaming conventions. Wanting to reach a bigger audience, we sold our souls to the corporate world. The one dollar instant rebate is a literal one dollar bill, folded up inside the pack. After a couple of months in stores, the Target CEO discovered the pack and found the jokes offensive and immediately pulled the pack from all stores. The Retail Product has been unavailable since. 

Over the past year, our writer’s room has shifted from eight white men to a diverse range of Chicago comedians led by two women. With the company gaining even more of a female voice, we wanted to create a product that was geared specifically towards us. We packaged the cards inside of a maxi-pad, forcing the customer to fully interact with what’s considered to be a taboo product. The sickly pink pad wrapper is a nod to the first pads girls receive in their introductory health classes. We worked with Grilli Type to design a very elegant and blunt logotype to go on the wrapper.

The Cards Against Humanity product line started to get overwhelming after a couple of years. There were six expansions for the main game, not including the themed foil packs. We simplified the products by condensing them. Expansions 1-3 are now the Red Box, and Expansions 4-6 are now the Blue Box. The Green Box is the first expansion not to be written by the founders, but by the Writer’s Room, a group of Chicago improvisers founded in 2016. Such a monumental change inspired the design team to propose introducing color in the Cards Against Humanity brand. 

One of the first projects I worked on was to create a series of popsicles for the release of the Cards Against Humanity Food Pack. The first run of the expansion was sold in the form of three different popsicles with ten cards frozen inside each one. We art directed and designed the popsicle labels and assisted the writing staff with the naming of the popsicle flavors. The Food Pack debuted at Penny Arcade Expo, the largest gaming convention in North America, and was sold through an ice cream truck on the convention grounds.

All profits from the Weed Pack go to the Marijuana Policy Project, the largest organization in the US focused on changing federal laws to allow states to determine their own marijuana policies. The tone of the Weed Pack design reflects this by avoiding stereotypical visuals, instead focusing on an authentic, transparent copywriting and layout. Under Sarah Gardner’s art direction, I assisted with typography, layout, and alternative packaging directions.

Creative Direction: Max Temkin, Ben Hantoot
Art Direction & Design: Myself, Amy Schwartz, Sarah Gardner
Production: Shari Spiro

©2019 Lauren GallagheR. BUILT WITH CARGO 2.