Cards Against Humanity is proof that huge, horrible ideas can come out of small places.
But the company behind the wildly popular “party game for horrible people” has outgrown its tiny storefront in Logan Square and has bought a 12,000-square-foot warehouse in Bucktown, Cards co-founder Max Temkin announced on his blog.
The new headquarters at 1915-1923 N. Elston will also serve as a homebase for designers, photographers, artists and fellow game-makers. The company hopes to move in this winter.
Cards is working with Chicago-based von Weise Associates to outfit the old brick and bow-truss warehouse with a blend of co-working staples — communal space, team rooms and conference rooms — and more unusual add-ons like a live-streaming and podcasting studio.
And, of course, some private space.
“We’re always looking at weird stuff on our computers,” he said. “We don’t need to be too public.”
Fifteen people have shared 10 desks at Cards’ current office. At the warehouse, they’ll have 30 desks with the space to expand to 60, Temkin says. The company asks tenants for $100 per desk per month, though Temkin isn’t sure what the fee will be when the writers of cards like “A micropig wearing a tiny raincoat and booties” and “Harry Potter erotica” move to Bucktown.
“The goal is to offer desks as cheaply as possible to people working on cool, independent projects,” he said.
He envisions the new space as a sort of “counterpoint 1871,” referring to the Merchandise Mart’s digital startup hub. Instead of venture capitalists, fluorescent lighting and noise, Temkin says, Cards HQ will be a haven for creative folks, complete with a screenprinting studio, comedy stage and mailing room for Kickstarter projects.
“I don’t want to have investors to come and do a ‘demo day,’” Temkin said. “No one in our space wants or needs that.”