Let me start by saying I’m not a baseball fan, but I did watch the Texas Rangers game last night and it’s pretty cool that they’re going to the World Series. As I typically do with any sports games, including the Superbowl, I watch for the commercials. Last night was no exception.
Capital One had a commercial for their new Venture card. I didn’t hear much of the commercial, but the image I saw on TV intrigued me. The card pictured had the name Lee N. Cardholder. At least I thought it was an ‘N’. If it was an ‘N’, that would be ‘lean’ or ‘lien’, which being a graphic designer, I can recognize a subliminal message faster than the average bear. I do it, all graphic designers do it. It’s creative and fun, a hobby of sorts for us. It’s like a designer’s secret language.
The ‘N’ reference lead me to define these two words:
lean2 [leen] [?] Show IPA adjective, -er, -est, noun –adjective
1. (of persons or animals) without much flesh or fat; not plumpor fat; thin: lean cattle.
2. (of edible meat) containing little or no fat.
3. lacking in richness, fullness, quantity, etc.; poor: a lean diet; lean years.
4. spare; economical: a lean prose style.
So if it’s lien, they own you. If it’s lean, they still own you, but it basically means you have no money. Using the meat reference, applying that to your finances, there’s no extra. Most Americans are one paycheck away from being in serious financial trouble, of even homeless. 77% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. [USAtoday article, workingamerica.org blog post]
So who is Lee M. Cardholder?
I decided to google him this morning. First of all, he has a Facebook page.
He looks like one of the original guys from the Wells Fargo stage coach, but I suppose the employment opportunities at Capital One were better. I sent him a friend request, that way I can ask him questions.
I also see that Jimmy Lee is one of the guys heading the national small business lending division of Capital One. So is Jimmy Lee actually Lee M.? I have no idea, but I do know this. This is the designer’s ‘get out of jail free’ card if some non-designer cracks the secret language code. If you’re a designer, keep a few of these with your business cards. 😉
Using my dictionary reference, as I did earlier, what’s a ‘leam’? Yeah, I know, I didn’t know if it was a word either. Looks like it is. And it sends you to see ‘lien’.
Leam\, n. [See Leamer, Lien.] A cord or strap for leading a dog. –Sir W. Scott.
I could use words here, but I’ll stick with the “picture is worth 1,000 words”.
So maybe Lee M. is a metaphor? If a graphic designer or marketing team came up with it, probably so. I’m not really sure who Lee M. Cardholder really is, but he’s not in my wallet.