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Draplin Design Co., North America
December 08, 2004
Posted at 10:54 AM



“Shut Up Already”

From Coudal.com, “After reading a story in the NYT, Jim’s wife Heidi decided that maybe there was a way to fight back against the obnoxious cell phone users that we all have to deal with in stores, restaurants, trains and pretty much everywhere else. Can design ride to the rescue? Jim and the incomparable Aaron Draplin think it can. So, as a public service, we introduce the reasonably polite SHHH, the Society for HandHeld Hushing.

- - - -

That’s right. We’re tired of having to listen to your loud, obnoxious conversations. We don’t care about yer new haircut or what “he” might have said to you the night before. (We couldn’t believe it either!) It doesn’t interest us in the least whether or not you are going to attend the company Christmas party or when you need to pick up yer ugly kids from soccer practice. Nope. Don’t want to hear it.

We’re fighting back.

Simply download this PDF, cut ‘em out, and “politely” hand them out to whoever is “spinning a yarn” next to you in the checkout line.

The Draplindustries Design Co. and Coudal Partners: Concerned about garrulous public chatter, and goddammit, we’re doing something about it.

There Are 64 Comments

Nice work Aaron.

Also looking forward to the new DDC.


Posted by: Naz on 12/08/04 at 12:39 PM

I’m going to tape some of these up on the NYC subway.

Posted by: YoungHistorians on 12/08/04 at 2:17 PM

look at you, brilliant and hilarious all in one.

good times, good times…

Posted by: dano on 12/08/04 at 5:01 PM

where’s the casino?

Posted by: Roderick Snell on 12/08/04 at 5:07 PM

good idea on the cards as well…. gonna put those to work

Posted by: rod on 12/08/04 at 5:08 PM

Could you fit these to some of the standard Avery business/index cards to print out ?

Posted by: Stuart on 12/08/04 at 8:13 PM

I wrote about this over a year ago (for the Ventura County Reporter, the Ventura alt weekly), creating a card to give to cell phone users, and won an award for the piece I wrote about it. I also have two card campaigns against SUVs. The old one is here:


Here’s my anti-cell phone card, which you’re free to reproduce and give the boor disturbing your peace.


Just because you have a self doesn’t mean you should express it. Apparently, you are under the impression that the world will be a better place once you broadcast the news that you’ve changed laxatives or forgotten to floss. Perhaps you call this “freedom of speech.” I call it “bad breeding.” Kindly save your loud, dull conversations for the privacy of your home. Thank you! —amyalkon@aol.com

Posted by: Amy Alkon on 12/08/04 at 11:00 PM

If you did thse on standard Avery business cards, I’d print up a few hundred and pass them out to friends in order to retake the subway.

Posted by: Nick on 12/09/04 at 4:58 AM

Awesome! I love the idea above… About putting them on Avery business cards. I’d carry a wallet full of ‘em!

Posted by: Mike on 12/09/04 at 5:48 AM

Any chance of making a version with your instead of yer? Bad English can drive me nuts too!

Posted by: Mark on 12/09/04 at 5:57 AM

This is great! I’ll be sure to wear my boxing gloves just in case. DC subway riders can get surely.

You might be interested in a series of “monodialogues” I’ve created based on real cell phone conversations overheard on our subway:

The Theatre of the Barely Socially Acceptable:

Posted by: Jeff on 12/09/04 at 6:32 AM


Why put them up on the subway in NYC when you can’t get signal down there?

It’s people like you that do nothing but pollute the subway system with crap.

Posted by: funkster9000 on 12/09/04 at 6:32 AM


Posted by: Sarah on 12/09/04 at 6:55 AM

yes, please post a template to print out… excellent idea:-)

Posted by: smokeonit on 12/09/04 at 7:27 AM

I think it is great that you would put them in a subway where there is no signal. I have been so many places that I know for a fact there is no signal for anyone, yet there is always some fat person on the phone talking away, some jetta drivin’ b tch, or some stupid soccer mom, and even the occasional business person. Get a grip people, any jackass can get a cell phone. They are not status objects anymore. I do not think you want me to begin talking loud on me about the guys I hammered the night before (and I am a guy). I think it is pretty sad when a house of God had to order signal jammers (Monterrey Mexico). What would Jesus do? Jesus was not white and was a Jew and he did not use his cell phone in the bathroom, in the church, in the classroom or while driving or even in a theater. So, quit talking in the name of “GOD” on your stupid phone before someone accidently shoves the word of “GOD” down your throat. Have a nice day.

Thank you, and God Bless.

Posted by: Fat SUV Rep Con Ch M on 12/09/04 at 8:47 AM

Proof that the Founding Fathers didn’t think that whole “freedom of speech” thing through to well.

Posted by: AndrewGraham on 12/09/04 at 9:06 AM

That is great!! Thanks for the idea!

Posted by: Roni on 12/09/04 at 9:47 AM

How is cell phone talk more annoying than gossipy girls shopping together? I don’t see a difference.

Posted by: Susan on 12/09/04 at 10:59 AM


Posted by: Edward Engberg on 12/09/04 at 11:01 AM


In reply to, “How is cell phone talk more annoying than gossipy girls shopping together? I don’t see a difference.”

It isn’t. They both suck.

But, cards for “people with nothing better to do than shop” is a whole ‘nother project.

Thanks for stopping by, and stay strong.


Posted by: Draplindustries Public Relations on 12/09/04 at 11:14 AM

Oh my gawd. I am, like, so sick of people talking on phones to their friends and family all around me. I mean, don’t they have anything better to do with their time? Who needs to, like, create bonds with people by talking to them. Like, duh. They could totally get a blog or something so I don’t have to listen to it. It’s just gross. I mean, sure, with a blog, then they’d be cluttering up the Web with their prattle, er like counter-prattle er whatever. I guess in this case, on this blog, it’s like people wasting time and bandwidth instead of time and airspace. Wait. Now I’m all confused. Which is worse again? Is it the people who are talking on cell phones in public or the people who sit in privite and use considerably more energy trying to come up with cute ways to spite them. Ugh. Now I’m totally lost. Like who am I supposed to be smug towards? Someone tell me please. Like, I just don’t think I can figure it out on my own.

Posted by: willburdette on 12/09/04 at 11:38 AM

Give me a freakin’ break. If I give you $20 can find something else to be annoyed at for no reason? For decades and decades, two annoying people talking in public about something private can be considered a “nuissance”. But did anyone propose you rudely walk up to them and tell them you don’t want to hear it? NO! And why? Because their conversation is NONE OF YOUR FREAKIN’ BUSINESS. Get over yourselves. Just because one end of the same discussion that’s been happening around the world for generation is replaced by a handset doesn’t suddenly make a strangeers conversation YOUR BUSINESS?

We should find an island and deprot all of you people. Then, when you’re all together, you can all beat the crap out of each other for talking, but not talking to you.

You want a real problem with the world?… Self-righteousness.

Posted by: Tim on 12/09/04 at 12:26 PM

Regarding the first comment: The difference between in person and cell phone conversation is that people still think that YELLING into their cell phones somehow produces a louder result.

And if you hate self-righteousness so much, why did you come to this site and post a self-righteous reply?

Posted by: no on 12/09/04 at 2:09 PM

I would like to translate it into italian. Do you know how many cellphones are active in Italy? Way more than in every other european country, and you’ll hear them everywhere even in concerts, at the cinema, at theatres, really EVERYWHERE! So such a sticker would be really great…

Posted by: macubu on 12/09/04 at 2:31 PM

Wow, someone needs to get over the fact that you did not think of this first. Thats where I see the REAL anger here.

Plus, I heard islands are fun!

Posted by: Jerms on 12/09/04 at 3:37 PM

Very Nice! Now, since I have a son with Cerebral Palsy, do you have anything in mind I can hand to people who park in the Handicap spots??

Posted by: Chris Hull on 12/09/04 at 4:04 PM

Seriously. If we want to break out the pre-school squad and start citing people for being annoying…. he touched me first.

Posted by: Mo-diggity on 12/09/04 at 4:08 PM

Can you make me a card I can hand to myself to remind me that the bad thoughts in my head aren’t worth being in there?

Posted by: Dick Halsey on 12/09/04 at 6:14 PM

It’s a statement on an obvious issue. The only dipnuts that are bitching are the very ones these things are designed for. The other day I thought someone across the street was yelling at me. When I turned to see what the commotion was guess what I saw? Yup - half a conversation walking down the sidewalk. The other side of the street for crying out loud! Why can’t I go for a walk without hearing someone I don’t even know yammer on about their own crap? Are you so lonely you can’t buy a cup of coffee without talking to someone? Hang up and shut up - your voice carries.

Posted by: Mr Pants on 12/09/04 at 6:25 PM

I love it! SF Muni riders — here I come. Ditto on the cards and correct grammar, please.

Posted by: Catherine on 12/09/04 at 9:49 PM

How about branching out and having cards reading

“Do you know why they are called *personal* stereos? Your desire to serenade us with just the hi-hat and bass line from Bon Jovi/Faithless/Dr-Dre/Eminem (delete as appropriate) is admirable - but SHHHHH you prick”

Posted by: Ian on 12/09/04 at 11:57 PM

Ha ha! This is *so* cool! Saw a link to your PDF on http://www.pocketpcthoughts.com. We really need something like this in Denmark - time to seize back peace of mind in the subway and in the buses! With your permission, may we do a Danish translation? PPPPLLLLEEEAAASSEEE?

Kind regards


Posted by: razza on 12/10/04 at 1:00 AM

Make some for airplanes quick!!!

- James

Cellphones Aloft: The Inevitable Is Closer

Published: December 10, 2004
The day may finally be coming when you will be allowed to make calls on your own cellphone from an airliner. Trouble is, so will the passengers sitting on either side of you, and in front and in back of you, as well.

Posted by: James on 12/10/04 at 7:09 AM

Ha! Nice work Aaron.

Can I come back here in a few weeks to find tales of verbal and/or physical altercations after people start handing these out on the train?

“Oh no you didn’t!”

Posted by: J Braem on 12/10/04 at 7:52 AM

this was really entertaining to read…good way to end the week.

Posted by: charlie on 12/10/04 at 8:51 AM

My butt iches. :(

Posted by: Stinky on 12/10/04 at 11:51 AM

How’s having a loud cell phone conversation ruder than having a conversation with someone sat next to you on the subway?
It’s a public space, whatever. People are always looking for sh*t to get mad about. It’s a stupid human trait. We like being annoyed and outraged.

Having a phone conversation in your house while someone else is trying to do something in the same room is rude. Why doesn’t everyone work on being more polite in general, how about moving away into another room when you get a call. How about turning (GASP) your f*cking cell phone off when you go to dinner with someone else? How about some undivided attention for your friend that you are with?

Posted by: whatever on 12/10/04 at 11:58 AM

Is there one in there saying …


Posted by: Noise Abattment Squad on 12/10/04 at 12:25 PM

Can you suggest ways to pass on your card at a public toilet where the echo is deafening. Is there a way to shape the cards into airoplanes? (smile)

Posted by: Jozef on 12/10/04 at 7:46 PM


But I don’t think this gets to the root of the problem, which is why people feel compelled to answer their phones in public…
Warning: Cell phones contain Pavlov’s Bells!

But the thing is, while I’m constantly annoyed at the skewed attitude about cell phones that people have, I agree with the 2nd commenter…
In some public situations, it is NOT more rude to carry on a cell phone conversation, any more than it would be to have a conversation with someone you were with.
Do you suggest muzzling everyone out in public? Haha!!!!

I would consider it rude if I was out with someone, a friend, and they answered their phone and had a whole convesation while with me. That is rude. I don’t do it. I try not to answer my phone (unless I know it’s necessary), when I’m with other people in person. The person I’m with comes before someone on the phone.
I also get annoyed when store clerks stand there and talk on the phone to a customer when I’m standing in front of them waiting to be checked out.

But I see nothing wrong with someone, during a solo visit to the grocery store, or the video store, to talk on their phone.

Though I do subscribe to Post’s advice:

“The telephone is designed to carry your voice at its natural pitch. It is not necessary to shout. In fact, raising your voice, especially during a long-distance call, will only distort it.”
From Part 12 Good Manners for Every Day, Chapter 62 On the telephone

‘Etiquette : The Blue Book of Social Usage’ by Emily Post

Funk & Wagnalls Eleventh Revised Edition by Elizabeth L. Post, 1965 (original edition copyright 1922)

And I do think in some situations, it is rude and annoying, to use a cell phone at all. For example, I was once at a type of lecture, where, during the speech being given, someone in the audience in the middle of the room had their cell phone ring, and loudly, and they actually answered it before they left the room, while still at their seat, and started having a conversation at a volume louder than the speaker! Several people gave this person dirty looks, and the person took several minutes to leave the room, without even seeming to realize that the speaker actually stopped!

On the other hand, walking down the street… Unless you’re really causing a commotion, I don’t see the problem.
During a massive snow storm on Christmas, I walked all around my neighborhood (through 2 towns), taking photos of the snow storm. I was bundled up with 2 long coats, a hat, and 2 hoods. I had my cell phone wired with an ear bud, in my ear, so I wouldn’t have to dig out my phone or take my gloves off to answer it. I was having a conversation with my mother on the cell phone while walking (it was Christmas, and my mother lives on the other side of the country). Someone I passed on the sidewalk stopped me, thought I was talking to him… which means I obviously wasn’t talking loud enough for him to know what I was saying, in fact he said so. Then he was confused and thought I was talking to myself. haha. Under those circumstances, with the phone being entirely hidden, I can understand the confusion it caused. But I hardly think, under the circumstances, that I was being rude to anyone.

Again, I think the emphasis of the etiquette issue ought to be put on circumstances, and upon volume.
There’s a BIG difference between someone’s cell phone ringing, and them answering it, loudly, during a movie in a cinema… and someone at the video store talking to the friend at the residence they’re headed to, about which movie to rent and bring with them, in a soft tone of voice.

Posted by: Chloe on 12/10/04 at 10:06 PM

brilliant. i can think of 20 times this could have been

Posted by: oswald on 12/11/04 at 11:13 AM

Hey Tim.

Come to Minneapolis. I’ll give you a self-righteous punch in your goddamn throat.

Posted by: ryno on 12/12/04 at 12:00 AM

The One Big Thing that upsets me about cell phones is ALL OF THOSE ANNOYING RING TONES man are some of them just plain obnoxious or what!! Everything from Rap to ountry and everything and every noise chirp whistle or buzz you can imagine is out there. Hell I wasn’t sure if this ladies phone was ringing or had her pace maker just shorted out the way she moved and reacted to it.

Posted by: Mark on 12/12/04 at 6:59 AM

I truely don’t think this is meant to be taken as seriously as everyone is taking it.

It’s supposed to give you a laugh.
If people feel the need to hand them out (I am one of them) then they should prepare for a probably negative responce.

Posted by: Burning Flag on 12/12/04 at 11:31 AM

Try to bend your concerns to significant problems. Spend your time/money/energy into something positive. Take the money away from printing cards and drop it into a Salvation Army Bell Ringer’s bucket. Better yet, become a Bell Ringer yourself.

Then you can spend some time giving smiles instead of cards and frowns.

Posted by: Bill Hanna on 12/12/04 at 11:52 AM

Bill, Burning Flag…

Great comments.

Burning Flag: You are right. This whole “non project” is just a reaction, a gesture to things experience around me. I’d be blown away to think that anyone would actually have the guts to pass them out. That isn’t what this is about. Sure, if someone wants to, hell, go for it. But, it’s more of a statement of sorts. That’s all. I appreciate all the posts, and love the range of sentiments people are feeling about this one I especially love the fuckers who are getting fired up. Good shit. Lots of viewpoints, lots of good discourse, I’d say.

Bill: Nicely put. Let’s shut the computer down and volunteer at a soup kitchen or, dig a little deeper for those who don’t have enough. That’s a better way to change things, I’d say.

Thanks for stopping by, much appreciated.


Posted by: Draplindustries Public Relations on 12/12/04 at 1:45 PM

Yo Dubble A to the ron-sun that card shit is off the ringer. Noreaga and me has done some shows where mafukkas be on the phone n’ shit talkin like mad dessibles above da room requirement yah mean.

Im a print me a gang of these joints, send em out to all the loud ass punk mafukkas out there talkn all loud n’ shit.

Yo look out for the new album. Shill will be dropped on all yall design heads in a few monfs.


capone of CNN

Posted by: capone N' noreaga on 12/12/04 at 6:46 PM

F**king traumatized nation where every muthaf**ka
wants to mourn in silence at the demise of their muthaf**king peace of mind, so much so that they can’t even stand people doing blah blah blah. Geezuz hallaboola Ch***t…

I tell you men and women of the world, what we need is a way by which we can ship truckloads of these silence-hungry-impatient-to-the-balls muthaf**kas stashed upon each other to Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi, Patna or worst still, Kolkata for a month and make them stand on a crossroad.

DIE A-holes! Or else, I will scream.

Posted by: HehHehHehScreamer on 12/13/04 at 6:15 AM

so many comments i had to browse.
you sure are a hell raiser. look at all of the emotions you have aroused.
stay punk pony boy

Posted by: mr. d on 12/13/04 at 4:58 PM

Great idea, really love it… however:
* The ‘YER’ thing really lowers the tone of the card from a cordial yet funny ‘please stop that endless noise’ to a ‘I’m a little yokel actually’. (Yeah, sure I could just use one that doesn’t have the ‘Yer’ in it, but man, how hard is it to use “your”? It’s only one more letter.)

* The second card with the two sets of check boxes… well, it doesn’t actually make any sense… let’s check an example of the usage:

“We are aware that your ongoing conversation with ‘Yer Friend’ about ‘Last Night’ and hey, we were right there with you, “going” ‘Like, OMIGOD.’ But that doesn’t mean…”

Erm… because there is no ‘is very important to you’ or similar in this card, it makes no sense…

Pitty, because it’s a funny one! (Although it has the ‘YER’s in it so I wouldn’t have used it anyway. :P )

Posted by: Simon on 12/13/04 at 5:23 PM

I seriously think all these people need to get a life! I swear! What’s happened to society!? Noone can walk down the street anymore without having to talk to someone! I mean come on! This is maddness. What ever happened to good old fashioned spending time with people! Why call someone on the cellphone when you’re already out and 5 minutes away from their house! Get your lazy ass over there! And if you’re going to talk on the phone, please take into respect that there are people around you that can hear every word that you are saying! It’s like you think you are in a bubble and the only person that can hear you is the person you’re talking to. We don’t care that you cut yourself shaving “for your husband last night!” We also don’t care that you saw a shirt at the store that didn’t fit! This stuff is pointless! You’re wasting money! Pretty soon it’s never going to be going to the mall with a friend! It’s going to be going to the mall with your cell phone! And with all the picture phones now you don’t even need people to BE THERE to get their opinion! You can just take a snap shot of it! I’m tired of venting about this. Tis a silly subject. I also need to get a life. Nothing’s going to change the cell phone thing so get over it. I have no idea why i wasted my time with this. And i hope everyone of you that give’s one of those cards out is shot by some psycho person who doesn’t much appreciate your insulting their “freedom of speech” See you in hell.

Posted by: Crystal on 12/13/04 at 7:02 PM


Hang on sec….my phone is ringing!

Posted by: Uncle Terry on 12/14/04 at 10:14 AM

U guys are now in India!!

Posted by: FeralTitan on 12/14/04 at 11:26 AM

Ahh, Something to ease NY Rush hour on the Long Islang Railroad. I’m Sick of hearing about that old hags medical problems.

Posted by: mobyzipper on 12/15/04 at 7:29 AM

My favorite comment:

“You want a real problem with the world?… Self-righteousness.”

So, so true. Get over yourselves, people. Then go read the Bill of Rights.

Posted by: Nathan Logan on 12/15/04 at 9:22 AM

Sorry ‘bout that. Not a very nice first comment.

I must say, I did get a good laugh from the “your husband’s vasectomy” comment.

It’s a humorous idea, but I think people get offended too easily. For the idea and implementation: hilarious. Truly. For those actually handing out these cards: let me demonstrate why they call it a “steel toe” boot.

Posted by: Nathan Logan on 12/15/04 at 11:35 AM

Man, I liked this place a lot better when it was just us here…now we’ve got people pontificating on self-righteousness and all manner of other things. Aaron, please, apparently humor is lost on half the planet…post some link that will send these goons off to troll some other site and lets get back to what matters: hassling you about grammar, your taste in music, and your love of the Mid-west.

Posted by: CDD on 12/15/04 at 2:20 PM

I think I now know how smokers must feel.

Why is a store sacrosanct? Why is okay to have a boisterous conversation with a friend in person at a store, but when you’re on a cell phone doing the same thing people get annoyed?

As long as it isn’t a restaurant, a movie, a funeral, or a worship service, then who cares if someone is talking on his or her cell phone? You care, apparently, but surely there are more important things to worry about. Like the annoying sound of people breathing, or you could harrass some nursing mothers or maybe go on a crusade against people drinking bottled water all the time out of their annoying nalgene bottles. But seriously, how about worrying about Darfour or Somalia or poverty in Appalachia?

Posted by: barlow on 12/17/04 at 2:11 AM

I love all the people COMPLAINING about these cards. Blah blah you’re self-righteous. Blah blah free speech.

Guys, this is hysterical. Try to see the humor in it as a substitute for getting defensive. Even if the one in a million chance someone handed you one of these cards occurs, its not like you’ve been shot. This is obviously just a joke and if you can’t laugh at it, then truly you take yourself and/or this issue way too seriously. This is very funny.

Posted by: Kym on 12/20/04 at 7:39 AM

These should be printed onto t-shirts so that those idiots who drive while talking on their mobiles get the point as well…

Posted by: lola on 12/21/04 at 9:45 PM

Cell phone chatter—-sure it’s annoying, but so are cicadas. Try to view the foners as an entomologist might. Unfortunately, the foners don’t have a 17-year cycle confined to a few weeks in the summer. But foners do share a vocabulary with the gregarious locusts: I’m here, where are you?…Over here, where are you?…Right here, where are you?…and so on. And of course, sooner or later it comes down to the biological imperative: Come on over!…I’m coming over and I have a big one!…Hurry get over here!…I’m coming over right now and I have a big one!…Hurry, get over here!…etc.

If you accidently step on one, don’t worry, they’re not endangered.

Posted by: dirtpo on 12/22/04 at 5:22 PM

There is a HUGE difference between two people having a conversations and many (if not most) people who use cell phones in public: people who are physically next to each other do not SHOUT AT EACH OTHER. Most people have normal conversations at a normal volumes.

So why do many people shout into their cell phones? Is it beacuse thay like to yell into them. No, the answer is quite simple. It is because of the design of the phones. Most people don’t realize this but we have grown up using regular home phones that amplify the sound of your voice through the earpiece. Cell phones do not do this. Thus, people are subconsiously used to hearing thier voice amplified when they speak into a phone, and tend to yell to compensate while using their cellular phone.

We need to either lobby the cell phone manufacturers to change their designs or educate cell phone users about this.

Neither will be easy.

Posted by: Silent Sufferer on 12/24/04 at 7:57 AM

Simon pointed out:

* The second card with the two sets of check boxes… well, it doesn’t actually make any sense… let’s check an example of the usage:

“We are aware that your ongoing conversation with ‘Yer Friend’ about ‘Last Night’ and hey, we were right there with you, “going” ‘Like, OMIGOD.’ But that doesn’t mean…”


To have it make sense, just change the “that” after “We are aware” to “of.” Then it would read:

We are aware of your ongoing coversation with ‘Yer Friend’ about ‘Last Night’ and hey, we were right there with you, “going” ‘Like, OMIGOD.’ …

So on and so forth.

The “yer” thing doesn’t bother me so much.

Posted by: Linda on 01/10/05 at 7:52 PM

For Chris Hull who posted 12/9/04 about people parking in handicap spaces; several years ago there was a “ticket” circulating around that you could slip under the windshield wiper of a car that was illegaly parked in a handicap space that read, “This space is reserved for the PHYSICALLY handicapped, NOT the MENTALLY ones”

Posted by: Robbie on 01/21/05 at 12:25 PM