Martini License

Licensed to Sip

Martini Drinker's License

September 2000

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Okay, I'll admit it: I like Martinis. I know that makes me appear trendy, but there it is. In my defense, I'll stipulate that I only enjoy actual honest Martinis, and none of this froofy hoo-ha that some bar serves as a "martini". Cran-tini? No. Chocloatini? NO. Gin or vodka, vermouth, classy garnish -- that's a Martini (note capital M).

Those of you who are not into Martinis may think that the litany of exact specifications most Martini drinkers rattle off when they order is a joke. I assure you that it is not. If you want to be assured of getting exactly what you want, you have to ask for it. I've forgotten to recite parts of my litany and been asked things like, "Straight up or on the rocks?" I have never even heard of anybody preferring a martini on the rocks. Martinis are for serious drinking, and the last thing a serious drinker wants is blocks of water floating in their pure Martini.

This project started as a standard form for listing Martini preferences, so rather than having to recite them, I could simply hand the card to the bartender and be sure of getting what I wanted. Along the way it morphed into a very exacting parody of the Pennsylvania driver's license. It's funnier if you've seen the PA license. I've had people criticisze my design because it lacks the holograms that the actual license does, to which I respond, "There are some things at which it is unwise to be too good."

The back of the card reads:

The signer of this card affirms that he or she is a licensed Martini drinker, qualified to order and consume martini Cocktails, subject to local regulations. Unless otherwise instructed, please prepare all cocktails for this person according to the preferences detailed on the fron of this card.

Materials & Process

What you can't really tell from the picture is that this is not printed on paper, it's printed on thick plastic. The way this works is that I bought Avery "White Printable Shrink Sheets for Inkjet Printers", printed my design onto them roughly four times the size that I wanted, and then shrunk them down to size. This works just the same way as any of you who've used "Shrinky Dinks" expect. The result is a thick, hard plastic card with ink printed directly on the plastic like a professional license. It's a bit thicker than the actual license, but it really doesn't seem like something made at home until you take a closer look at the subject matter. Sadly, I haven't been able to find the shrink sheets in the store lately. Maybe you could order them directly from Avery.

If you manage to find some shrink sheets somewhere, you need to experiment to find out the exact shrink ratio of the plastic you have. You can do this by printing a set of 1 inch marks on a strip of plastic, shrinking the plastic, and measuring the new distance between the marks. Don't forget that when you shrink the plastic, the saturation of what you print will increase as the plastic shrinks. You'll get more dots per inch, so there will be more ink per square inch than the original printing. Any color you print will wind up much darker after shrinking than it was before. Unless your face really is bright pink, you'll need to compensate when you color your design.

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