Why We’re Called C42D

By David Card
Blog Post

It’s inevitable. We meet a new client, prospect, or colleague, and they ask us, “Why are you called C42D?”

Some have theories (our favorite – it’s like C4 explosives in two dimensions). Others have no idea. Over the years, we can count on one hand the number of people who have guessed correctly. To be sure, we love the mystery, but it’s better to have an easily-linkable answer we can point to.

Rewind back to 2008. David Card, freelance designer, wants to make his mark on the world. The internet has changed everything, and entire industries are being disrupted. Time to disrupt branding too.

Keen to make a good impression, he is obsessed with finding a short, memorable domain name.

At this point, most, if not all, three-character domains are long gone (don’t you wish you registered abc.com in 1991?). So the next stop would be four-character domains. With a name like David Card, using that incredible last name is a no-brainer, but card.com, alas, was also long-gone.

So what else could work?

Enter 42.

THHGTTG – Early inspiration for C42D. Did you notice the 42 spheres on the cover? Artwork by Kai Krause.

I’m a fan of hacker culture and how they talk online, at least I was in 2010. For example, a hacker would substitute the letters A and R using leetspeak, an archaic form of early internet communication.

Also, 42 is the magical number from Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (and quite a few clients have guessed this). It is the answer to the “ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything.”

C42D. That’s it!

Thus, C42D was born, and David Card began creating for his clients the answers to life, the universe, and everything. We registered our four-character domain name (easy to type, not so easy to say over the phone) and began life as C42D Creative.

And the rest is history. We’ve been explaining it ever since.

Bonus points if you noticed the 42 circles on this article’s blog tile.


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