American Psycho titles and business cards
3 Comments on “American Psycho titles and business cards”
Thanks for your contribution, Sasha!
Let’s include the other business cards featured in the movie, too.
The famous card waving contest starts with Bateman’s own card, which has “bone” coloring. “The lettering is something called Silian Rail”. Some people heard “Silian Grail”, “Silian Braille”, “Cillian Braille”, etc. The name is fictional – it’s some sort of Garamond, used in caps and small caps, with oldstyle figures. The print isn’t quite centered: it’s shifted to the left and also sits a tad too low. The ampersand in the company name isn’t centered either. The card was printed with so much pressure that the type is actually debossed, so that no layperson can possibly miss the fact that it’s letterpress printed. Winking Cat Press once commented on this phenomenon:
[…] in the past a deep impression was the mark of poor pressmanship. The ideal impression was considered to be the ‘kiss’ impression, or where the form touched the paper just enough to leave behind the image but not to leave an impression in the paper. Nowadays the deep impression on heavy stock is much sought after because it’s something that can’t be done digitally, and when people pay for the cost of custom invitations (or whatever) they want something that shows that it wasn’t done cheaply on a home computer. It’s a status thing.
David Van Patten’s card (“eggshell with Romalian type”) is set in a Bodoni, printed on textured paper, without any discernible impression.
Timothy Bryce claims “you ain’t seen nothing yet”, and pulls out his card, with “raised lettering” (nope – unless he refers to the deep impression mentioned before, but that’d be the opposite of “raised”), “pale nimbus … white”. The typeface is Helvetica, set with faux small caps. Note that URW’s version of Helvetica is named Nimbus Sans.
The scene is concluded with Paul Allen’s card, set in two weights of Copperplate Gothic. “Look at that subtle coloring. The tasteful thickness. Oh my God. It even has a watermark.” (It doesn’t.) Like Bateman’s, it suffers from too tightly spaced (small) caps.
Later in the movie, Luis Carruthers presents his new card. It’s printed in two colors, gold and green, with the former out of register and shifted to the left. The typeface is Edwardian, a pretty whacky choice, certainly in comparison with the “safe classics” used by his colleagues.
Curiously, Pierce & Pierce apparently didn’t maintain a corporate design. Each of their many vice presidents got to have their own card made. As a IMDb contributor pointed out, the word “acquisitions” is misspelled on every single card. So much for classy.
For more on the subject, see also Claire Green’s article for Hoban Cards. She concludes:
As a whole, the cards are much like their owners: potentially appealing at first glance yet predominantly unoriginal and flawed.
Eagle eye! Added, thank you.