Stewart Smith


Thousands of unique fortunes to wish you a happy new year.

Word-a-coaster is a New Years fortune dispenser created by It's Nice That and Stewdio for the main window display of Selfridges' flagship store in London. It contains 30,000 unique fortunes for 2012 randomly assembled from a collection of typefaces, phrases, and thousands of choice adjectives. The printed fortunes will be randomly dispensed to Selfridges customers from a custom-built roller-coaster beginning on Thursday, January 12th.

Stewdio collaborated with It's Nice That to create the 30,000 fortune cards. The list of adjectives was culled from Wiktionary, but rather than parse the freely available (and terribly thorny) Wiktionary XML dump, a custom in-browser JavaScript hack was created to leap from page to page collecting the desired words. The adjectives were then automatically typeset, inserted into fortune phrases, and output for print using the Scriptographer plugin for Adobe Illustrator.

The beautiful wooden roller-coaster was designed and built by Atom. Our massive print job was expertly handled by Pureprint Group. Word-a-coaster is part of It's Nice That's Words Words Words window display series running at Selfridges from 12 January through 1 March 2012.

Awards, press, notables

  • On view at Selfridges in the corner display window, and from just inside the store. January 2012