“THOMAS SMITH LIKES THIS” RUBBER STAMP. I had an idea for a rubber stamp: Why not bring everyone’s favorite virtual approval method of “liking” in to the physical world? I Google’d around and found that I was clearly not the first person to have this idea. Novelty Facebook “like” and “thumbs up” rubber stamps had been around for about a year - But they weren’t very personal. So I took it to the next level by adding my name to the stamp die.
A rubber stamp die has to be designed in a kind of binary style. There are no “shades” when designing a stamp die; It’s either going to be area that touches the ink pad, or area that doesn’t. Even a method to emulate shading with one color, like half-toning, doesn’t work on stamps because there are limitations to how small a single point can be on a stamp die. So I spent a couple minutes in Photoshop making a vector shape of the thumbs up icon, plotting points over a photograph of the thumbs up icon used on the sign in front of the new Facebook offices. Then I took some time adjusting it to look acceptable when displayed in just one color. For instance, without the luxury of using multiple colors to shade them, the folded-in fingers looked strange sticking out as far as they di. I had to move the knuckles in a good distance toward the cuff. Then I double checked which font family was used on a Facebook page (in Chrome, on a Mac) and found that even though the CSS calls for Lucida Grande, I found that Lucida Sans looked better for this purpose.
I then simply eye’d how the size of the icon in relation to the “like text” near it and did my best to match that. I ended up leaving the icon a little bigger than the actual proportion though. Since Facebook does not use a link underline for the names that link to profiles but instead just a link color to provide the visual queue, I had to use an alternate method of making the name stand out among the other words in the sentence. I tried underlining the name and that looked really hokey for some reason, so I decided on just bolding it. I’ve never respected the Lucida family much until I played around with them.
For about the cost of a blue ink pad, production of a custom stamp die, and a wooden stamp with the cool wooden palm handle (about $16 shipped), I could have gotten a slick self-inking stamp that automatically flips the die up on to an internal ink pad when not in use, but I have a bit of a “classic” sensibility and I just kind of dig the notion of hitting a stamp with some ink and smashing it down on paper.