Today’s Sharpie artist is the man behind The Hello Project, Joseph Delhommer. With *Kristen Caston (who you may remember as our LIVE artist at the 2010 Sharpie Squad Virtual Summit), Delhommer launched THP, an “online social collaboration” aimed at recharging the everyday opener. Simply put, The Hello Project invites anyone and everyone to say Hello in a creative way onto a 3×3 Post-it® . Doodle it, sketch it, write it- whatever your heart desires, there is no right or wrong way to say hello!
Now here it is, a Sharpie interview for the record books… Get to know the man who’s taking an ordinary greeting to extraordinary levels. This is Joseph Delhommer and The Hello Project!
Get to know J.D. & The Hello Project…
Background info? Where are you from?
Where I come from, people are always beach ready and never afraid to dance.
In the Dominican Republic it never gets cold so people never get stiff, that’s why Miami Beach was an easy move for me but Hamburg and Chicago weren’t. But I made do.
Interests? Likes? Dislikes? I am the light up type of person and I look for the same energy in music, people, and anything else I get involved with.
Pet Peeves? Being asked what my pet peeve is. But in all seriousness, I hate fake people.
Tell me about The Hello Project: It all started back in July last year here in Chicago. A designer friend, Kristen Caston, used to leave me post-it notes that said “Hi” every time she passed by my office when I wasn’t there. One day I arranged four of them on my desk all in a row. And the idea just came to me…it stared in my face and said, “hello.” After talking about it with my copywriter, Carlos Rangel, we came up with the name and registered the URL on the spot. All in all, it took no more than five minutes. We officially launched the site to the public on September 1st. (Happy 1st Bday THP!)
What is it about the word “Hello”? Why not something else? (Maybe “The How Are You Project,” “The Nice Pants Project”, “The Nice to Meet You Project”) Because HELLO is universal. It’s simple and has the power to instantly change the dynamic between you and a stranger.
What is THP’s mission? / What do you hope to get out of this? When people get a creative urge, Post-its are a great canvas to let it loose on. The Hello Project gives creative’s a perfect excuse to doodle. This is what got the first 20 people, all close friends, involved and this seemed like a great way to connect with creative types all around the world.
How many people are involved in THP? Amazingly over 350 people have participated thus far, some having contributed four or five post-its!
What are some favorite “Hello’s” that you’ve received ? Throwing the hard questions at me huh? I’m not naming favorites, some people have flair and it’s cool to see it shine on their submissions.
Do you limit entries to only words? No. No limits.
Who can submit to the Hello Project? And how? It is open to anyone who wants to say “hello”. (FYI: We do not supply the post-its, the Sharpie products nor do we provide any scanning services.) People hand off their hello in person or email a JPEG to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What’s your idea of “the perfect HELLO?” A Brit saying ‘Ello Govnah!!
How many different ways are there to say hello on a yellow sticky note? Precisely 312,983,673,345,683,893,450,937 different ways.
Do you think Sharpie has any impact on THP? If so, How? Sharpie has an uncanny way of tapping into the creative vein; I think it’s because of the freedom you get to write as fast or slow as you want. The ink’s there either way. And it works nicely with a post it because it doesn’t take much work to fill it up with your design.
If you could have any one person in the entire world submit a “HELLO” to THP, who would it be? Stefan Sagmeister.
(This happens to me now and again and I wonder if you have had a similar experience and what your opinion is on this happening…)
SCENARIO: You’re walking down the street when you make eye contact with a passerby, being the friendly person you are, you say Hello! To which the passerby responds with a dumbfounded look, as if you had three heads and just asked him/her to join you for a PB&J and a light afternoon of cliff diving…
….What are your thoughts on this scenario? Why do you think some people find it odd when a stranger says hello? I know what you mean! Ever since I came to the US I noticed people are way more defensive. People create a comfort bubble between plugging in their iPods and staring at the sidewalk. And when the bubble gets popped, bam. They assume the worst.
Anything I didn’t ask that you would like to add? The really big question is when will the lovely Whitney Kelly send in a hello of her own? Other than that, I think you nailed it. Pat yourself on the back, then grab a post it and doodle us a hello! (Forget about me, I’m getting the entire Sharpie Team to send in Hello’s!)
*Joseph Delhommer and Kristen Caston currently run The Hello Project and have been since Sept. 1, 2009.
Kristen Caston is The Hello Project's greatest contributor with over 35 "HELLO's" (pictured: Susan Wassel, Kristen Caston, Whitney Kelly)
Want more of The Hello Project? Stay Tuned, Sharpie and The Hello Project are teaming up so that you can say Hello in all sorts of ways and win Sharpie markers, pens & highlighters! Stay tuned for more info.