who is Lee M. Cardholder? [day 149]

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:


1 [leen, lee-uhn] [?] Show IPA  –noun  -Law the legal claim of one person upon the property of another person to secure the payment of a debt or the satisfaction of an obligation.

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.

About jody wissing

I'm a person just trying to matter in a crazy world.
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6 Responses to who is Lee M. Cardholder? [day 149]

  1. Pingback: graphic designer’s ‘get out of jail free’ card | digitalfondue.org

  2. Diane says:

    hmmm only you would have figured all this out :). ok now to his post comment to see if I am still an angry Patrick 😉

  3. embracechaos says:

    I got this email from my friend Michael, who runs our Financial Peace University classes. I asked him if I could share it, and he said yes. Thanks!


    Your Lee M Cardholder post is thought provoking. I’m NOT a graphic artist, but I remember a college class I took related to advertising / marketing etc… As part of the class I remember we had to analyze print ads and look for subliminal messages, embedded themes, etc… and the class was very eye opening for me. I know companies spend millions on advertisements, branding and marketing just to get us to buy their “stuff”.

    It is concerning to see how our society has evolved (for the worse) when it comes to debt & credit. Long before credit cards existed, debt was considered to be very negative and most people actually saved enough money to buy their first house. Mortgages were not very common 70 years ago.

    Then in 1950, Frank McNamara printed up some plastic cards to be used in NY City restaurants and hence the Diners Club Card (First Credit card) was born and the rest is history. Now “our society” worships at the alter of the FICO score and define their self worth based on the level of credit card they hold Gold, Platinum, Sapphire etc…

    I like Dave’s saying “If your broke friends are making fun of you (because of your new FPU habits), then you’re Right onTrack”


  4. Pingback: I’ve saved a lot of money, but that wasn’t why I did it [day 201] | trashsociety.com

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