Read this & pass it on. That’s the point.

[Kim Rogala] It’s scientifically proven that smiles are contagious, and that performing random acts of kindness increase the happiness levels of all involved. It seems that Paul Attard and Alexey Golev of London-based design studio wearegoat have a mission of their own to brighten someone’s day, and a sense of humor about it. I asked Paul about one particular project that made me smile.

Okay, tell us about the name wearegoat.
The name “goat” comes from our surnames—Golev and Attard. The company’s official name is wearegoat (we are goat) but we normally refer to ourselves as goat. Always lowercase…we don’t want Golev getting more importance.

What are these “Pass It On” cards we’ve been seeing everywhere?
Pass It on Cards were designed for the sole purpose of making people happy. They are business card-sized messages created to bring a smile to people’s faces. We also want to encourage interaction between different people by simply allowing them to hand over a nice message to someone else on the street, in the park, at university, a shop or a party. This idea first started with our personalized birthday cards we call goatcards.

When did you create them?
The idea has always been in my head. I thought it was obvious and was sure someone had already created something along the same lines. Nothing came up when we searched for similar ideas, so in February of this year we decided to create them ourselves, not as promotion but as a nice thing to do. After about a month of trying to come up with 50 different messages that could easily be passed on, from one person to another, we printed our first batch of 200 cards. We started passing them out to people wherever we went.

This project has gone global?
Yes. We have printed Pass It On messages in Spanish, French, Italian, German, Russian, Estonian, Norwegian and Chinese. With Swedish and Maltese hopefully coming soon. We’re always looking for people to help translate the different languages.


Pass it on cards in Italian: “Prendila alla leggera” translates to “take it easy,”  and “piacere di conoscerti” means “nice to meet you.”

You just walk around handing the cards out? What kinds of reactions do you get from people?
Some people think we are handing them a business card and look confused, but when they look at it they are pleasantly surprised, and most don’t want to pass it on to someone else…which defeats the purpose. Sometimes we leave cards in places for people to find.

Knowing you have the power to make people smile makes you notice people: There was this girl crying on the tube and we wanted to pass on a “the world is better when you smile” card. Unfortunately we had just run out of the cards at a festival. Also, I’d like to add a disclaimer: I’ve had friends tell me that they are using the cards to hit on girls in clubs. This is not the intention of the cards.


Possible pick-up cards in Russian: “Брось всё  и танцуй!” says “stop everything and dance,” and “Твои волосы чудесны” says “your hair is amazing.”

Fifty different messages is a lot to print. How are the cards produced?
We printed them at MOO.com on their Green Business Cards. MOO was a simple solution for us because we could print the 50 different messages on the back and reorder when we needed.

Are the cards available for purchase?
We never intended to make this a commercial project, so we didn’t think of a way to sell them, but people kept asking. For a time we were allowing people to log into our MOO account and place their orders. But we’ve taken a break from that. We’re now working on a redesign of our website which will include an area for ordering cards. We’ll announce the launch in a few months.

The art of “personal touch” is clearly part of the the goat philosophy. Why is that important?
We don’t pretend to be a large company. In fact it’s just the two of us and for now we enjoy it that way. With our self-initiated projects, we create things we want to see, which is the reason for the personal touch coming through.

When working on a project, we tell ourselves that if we are not enjoying what we are doing, then we are doing it wrong. Work doesn’t get tiring, which means we often find ourselves working through the night.

Golev and Attard met online before attending the same college in London. Moving to London from Moscow and Malta, respectively, they decided to find a flat together. After working on several course projects, they decided to work on a few side projects for clients. The ease of working together prompted them to get [a bit] more serious and register the company.

Photos courtesy of wearegoat.

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Comments (4)

  1. Posted by notely on 12.6.12 at 3:01 pm

    These cards are so awesome! Golev and Attard, NICE TO MEET YOU. I want to get cards for my hair stylist to hand out to her customers when she finishes up with them: Твои волосы чудесны. Stock up!

  2. Posted by notely on 12.6.12 at 3:02 pm

    Oh, one other thing. How do you pronounce it? Can anyone give me a phonetic spelling on it … Твои волосы чудесны ?????

  3. Posted by Paul Attard on 12.6.12 at 5:21 pm

    Hello,

    Contact us through the website (http://wearegoat.com/how-to-reach-us/), do you want them in Russian or do you want the English versions?

    The phonetic spelling would be “Tvoyi volosi chodesni”

    Kind regards,
    Paul

  4. Posted by Laura on 09.8.16 at 10:03 am

    Hello
    Are your ‘Pass it on cards’ available to purchase anywhere?
    I’m a teacher and my students love them!

    Thanks

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