Clear The Decks

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MAR13_Market_Watch

Photograph by Anna Jones

When Tyler Deeb launched a Kickstarter campaign last October to finance his reimagined playing cards, the Louisville-based designer hoped to meet a $6,250 goal and maybe bank some extra cash for his troubles. Twenty-four hours in, he’d smashed through the goal. A month later, Deeb finished the campaign with $146,596.

Part of the deck’s appeal is its quality. For the printing, Deeb chose the United States Playing Card Company, an Erlanger-based firm that happens to be the gold standard for playing card printing. And as for Deeb’s cards, they’re not your average pack of Bicycles. He painstakingly designed the box, card back, and each individual card face. “I wanted them to be functional, but I was OK with changing things up a little bit,” he says. All the familiar motifs are there, but Deeb made the face card characters a bit larger, scaled down the size of the numbers and symbols, and wove in a little courtly drama. For instance, the king of clubs holds a bow and arrow and the jack of spades takes an arrow to the heart. And in most modern decks, the queen of hearts holds a flower; in Deeb’s version, she’s clutching a voodoo doll. Look for a second edition design, for sale at Deeb’s company, Misc. Goods Co., that will offer new colors, slightly larger numbers, and a few new inside jokes.  $15, misc-goods-co.com

Originally published in the March 2013 issue

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