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Two artistic styles – Op Art and Woodcut – come together to create one completely original playing card deck. Read more

Chicago, IL Design
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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on June 17, 2013.

Two artistic styles – Op Art and Woodcut – come together to create one completely original playing card deck.

Chicago, IL Design
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About this project

BIG NEWS – WE'VE ADDED A RED DECK TO ROYAL OPTIK!! Check the bottom of the homepage for more info.

Hello! We are thrilled you've stopped to check out our project. We are Peter Dunham and Linnea Gits and we are both designers and artists and partners in the design studio, Uusi

Royal Optik is an entirely custom deck of playing cards and the third deck in a planned, six deck series from Uusi. We began making these custom decks about a year ago when we decided to create a deck using only hand-drawn artwork for the court characters. That deck was called, Blue Blood and sold out almost immediately. We had so much fun creating the artwork for the first deck, that we decided to do another, only this time we thought it would be cool to hand paint with gouache every card in the deck – not just the court characters. This deck became Bohemia and it with its success we thought it would be a great challenge to create six completely unique, Limited Edition decks that would some day make up one collection of Uusi playing cards.  

Creating original artwork for one deck of cards means creating 56 illustrations for the deck itself as well as designing the custom look for the packaging on the box.  Along with that, we also create unique items most of which are handmade by us at our studio for each of our projects. Our goal is to give you value and enjoyment from these decks by creating work that is unique, highly playable and instantly collectable.  We hope you find them so as well and are inspired to back Royal Optik!

Royal Optik Ad Card Diptych
Royal Optik Ad Card Diptych

INSPIRATION

Our inspiration for this deck came from two sources: We chose a woodcut style for the faces, hands and weapons of the court because it has such an expressive, traditional look and used the more precise geometric style of Op Art to create the shapes, postures and costumes of the court characters. Both use negative space to create volume and movement, but differ greatly in how they express it. 

All the court faces and hands were penciled in by Linnea, while Peter happily sketched out weapons and used his steady drafting skills to hand-ink both his and Linnea's pencil sketches in a woodcut style. The bodies were created by Linnea, cutting out geometric shapes from fields of blue-green black and warm reds that we first painted on printmaking paper and then scanned into the computer. Combining these two styles and techniques gave Royal Optik a traditional yet edgy-modern look.  

As artistic as our decks are, it is equally important to us that they are playable. We are careful to make sure the pips and indicies are not only pleasing in their design layout, but that they are easy to read. We have kept all the traditional elements of the court cards most used in games such as poker: two one-eyed Jacks (Spades and Hearts), the "Suicide King" (Hearts, with sword "through" head) and the "Man with the Axe" (King of Diamonds). Last, but never least, we created a signature Joker unique to the Royal Optik court.   

**Thanks to reaching our 300% stretch goal we now have a Royal Optik seal for our limited edition deck!

THE DECK

  • Fifty-two playing cards and two jokers – all with original, eye-catching artwork that makes them ideal for magic and card games, yet at the same time very familiar and immediately recognizable by players and spectators alike.
  • Two illustrated Uusi Design ad cards that form a diptych.
  • Printed by the United States Playing Card Company (USPC) in a run of no more than 5000 decks. Print run size will be determined by demand and will be strictly limited.
  • Made on Bicycle playing card stock with an Air Cushion Finish.
  • Linen/embossed finish on tuck box. 

*All images of the deck and tuck boxes you see in these photos are prototypes made at Uusi's studio. The finished product may vary slightly from what you see here - backers will be kept up-to-date of any minor changes that may occur. The overall design and theme will remain UNCHANGED throughout the funding and printing process.
Royal Optik Uncut shown in custom, redwood frame.
Royal Optik Uncut shown in custom, redwood frame.
Detail shot of custom frame.
Detail shot of custom frame.

ROYAL OPTIK UNCUT PRESS SHEET

When creating the artwork for our decks, we always try to keep in mind how they will look when shown together on the press sheet. Uncuts are very limited in their editions and thus highly collectible.  Though it is the low number of these sheets that are produced that make them desirable to collectors, we like to think they can also stand alone as a work of art. In addition, we like to create  special cards – like our Ad Card Dyptych – to give a final, signature touch to our press sheets.

FUNDING

Designing and producing high-quality, limited-edition decks printed in small quantities requires your support.  Our art and design time for this deck was enormous. We want to cover every detail and make sure we are offering you a well thought-out product that is as complete and original as possible. We also want to make sure it is produced with the highest quality printer to ensure a deck that will last the test of time which is why we choose to print with USPC. However, most of the large playing card companies they deal with print in the tens of thousands with decks that can continually be reprinted. To meet USPC's minimum for these highly custom, one-time printed decks is an expensive endeavor for our small company, but with your help we can make Royal Optik happen!

A LOOK AT THE REWARDS

Royal Optik Limited Edition Screen Print
Royal Optik Limited Edition Screen Print

This edition of the Royal Optic screen print is an exclusive to this Kickstarter project. We will not be offering it after the project ends, so the total number of pledges will determine the actual print run quantity. All prints will be signed and numbered. Overall dimension of the print is 9" x 12". Printed with black, water-based ink on archival, print-making paper at our studio. 

Redwood Playing Card Display Case
Redwood Playing Card Display Case

Our Redwood Playing Card Display Case was first introduced for our Bohemia deck and was so popular we decided to bring it back for Royal Optik.  Each case is handmade at the studio from reclaimed, old-growth redwood that was salvaged from Chicago water towers built at the turn of the 20th century.  Because of the high amount of handwork involved in each case we cannot offer more than 25 for this project. Each case is signed and numbered and comes in an Uusi branded, cotton bag with a small allen wrench to adjust the swivel speed of the case tray.

Redwood Deck Stand
Redwood Deck Stand

Redwood Deck Stand Made from reclaimed, old-growth redwood at our studio. A great way to display your favorite deck.

Royal Optik Ace of Spades Screen Print Poster
Royal Optik Ace of Spades Screen Print Poster

Royal Optik Ace of Spades Poster is screen printed at our studio with gold, water-based ink on black, archival printmaking paper. Gold edition only available for Kickstarter. Signed and numbered. Dimension: 11" x 14".

Royal Optik Ace of Spades T Shirt
Royal Optik Ace of Spades T Shirt

Royal Optik Ace of Spades T-Shirt – Gildan Heavy Cotton T-Shirt. Screen printed white design on black T-shirt. Available in sizes small, medium and large. 

Royal Optik T-Shirt
Royal Optik T-Shirt

"Royal Optik" T-Shirt – Gildan Heavy Cotton T-Shirt. Black screen printed design on grey T-Shirt. Available in sizes small, medium and large. 

"Friends of the Family" Collector Box
"Friends of the Family" Collector Box
Inside "Friends of the Family" Collector Box
Inside "Friends of the Family" Collector Box

"Friends of the Family" Collector Box Some of you have been with us since the start, but for those who missed out on our hardest to find deck, Blue Blood, this is your chance to have the Uusi collection to date. One handcrafted box made from old growth, reclaimed redwood at our studio. Signed and numbered. The box is sized to ultimately hold 12 decks. Comes with signed (1) Blue Blood Playing Card Deck, (1) Limited Edition Bohemia Deck, (1) Blue Edition Bohemia deck with seal (only 80 of these were produced) and (2) Royal Optik decks.

Commemorative Royal Optik Six Deck Box
Commemorative Royal Optik Six Deck Box
Inside shot of Royal Optik box.
Inside shot of Royal Optik box.
Inside Royal Optik box.
Inside Royal Optik box.

Commemorative Royal Optik Six Deck Box made from reclaimed, old-growth cypress with a screen printed lid.  Each box is handcrafted at Uusi Studio and is signed and numbered. The box comes with six Royal Opitk decks and has a compartment to hold small items such as dice or poker chips. Please note that the dice shown above do not come with the box. 

ADD ON CHART FOR YOUR EXISTING PLEDGE ONLY

Want a little something more than what's offered in your tier? Here's the pricing for those extras we're offering in other tiers. Sorry – we can't offer the limited-edition items we design and make ourselves, because, well – they're only made in limited quantities! You have to pledge in the correct tier for them. * Please note: if you already have a multiple deck pledge and would just like to swap one color for another feel free to do so and then be sure to let us know what colors you want when we send our survey out after the project closes.

Early Bird tiers are NOT ELIGIBLE to add anything to their reward. If you pledged for an Early Bird tier and wish to add more decks, you have to upgrade to a non-Early Bird tier first. You may not pledge for more than twelve decks in total. 

SEE THIS UPDATE FOR MORE DETAILS.

_________________________________________________________________

*Special thanks to our friends and family whose talent, expertise and generosity enhanced this project's look and feel in the following areas:

Martin Nelson  Director and editor for our video. martinnelson.com

Tyler Mallory  Cinematographer www.tylermallory.com

Don Boyer  Copy Consultant 

Liz Dunham Copy Editor

Bob Schaeffer  PS Superbrain "Yes, I Can Say That". http://www.tunecore.com/music/psuperbrain

Risks and challenges

Peter Dunham and Linnea Gits have been designing products for the market for over seven years. As designers and as consumers, we understand the need for delivering a high-quality product, represented as accurately as possible and shipped on time. We have had two successful and completed projects on Kickstarter with over 2000 backers. We completed our project goals on time and shipped to all our backers in the US and around the world – within our promised delivery date – with a 99% customer satisfaction rate. We are committed to delivering a great product on time that you enjoy. Your happiness is our business!

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

FAQ

  • We apologize for the confusion! Kickstarter has a new system for international shipping. They require one flat rate for each reward so we can no longer offer separate rates for our Canadian backers. We did not know about this new system when we built this project page which is why you are seeing the Canadian rate broken out in the reward copy. Please disregard that rate – only the shipping listed under our delivery date will be charged to your reward.

    Last updated:
  • Visit the project page and click "Manage Your Pledge." To change your reward, make a new selection. Note that changing your reward selection does not automatically change your pledge amount.

    Last updated:
  • Visit the project page and click "Manage Your Pledge". Enter a new amount in the pledge amount box. Note that you are not adding to your existing pledge; the amount you enter will be the total amount collected if the project is successfully funded.

    Last updated:

Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $9 or more

    98 backers Limited (1 left of 99)

    EARLY BIRD SPECIAL - You just caught the worm! You get (1) ONE Royal Opti deck. No add-on's available for this reward. Domestic shipping included. Canadian backers add $6.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $10 or more

    98 backers Limited (1 left of 99)

    ONE DECK – The Early Bird is sold out? Choose this one and you can still get (1) ONE Royal Optik deck below retail price. Domestic shipping included. Canadian backers add $6.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $11 or more

    293 backers

    ONE DECK – Still a great score! (1) ONE Royal Optik deck still less than retail. Domestic shipping included. Canadian backers add $6.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $20 or more

    372 backers

    TWO DECK – Enjoy (2) TWO Royal Optik decks. Domestic shipping included. Canadian backers add $8.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $30 or more

    101 backers

    THREE DECKS – Enjoy (3) THREE Royal Optik decks. Domestic shipping included. Canadian backers add $10.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $31 or more

    10 backers

    ROYAL OPTIK ACE OF SPADES BLACK T-SHIRT – (1) ONE Gildan heavy cotton T-Shirt. Screen printed white design. Available in sizes: small, medium & large. PLUS (1) ONE Royal Optik deck. *You can add this t-shirt to any other pledge tier by adding $22 to that pledge.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $31 or more

    6 backers

    "ROYAL OPTIK" T-SHIRT – (1) ONE Gildan heavy cotton,grey T-Shirt. Black, screen-printed design. Available in sizes: small, medium & large. PLUS (1) ONE Royal Optik deck. *You can add this t-shirt to any other pledge tier by adding $22 to that pledge.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $32 or more

    11 backers

    ROYAL OPTIK ACE OF SPADE SCREEN PRINT POSTER – Enjoy (1) ONE signed & numbered screen printed at our studio poster PLUS (1) Royal Optik deck. *You can add this poster to any of our other pledge tiers by adding $22 to that pledge. Domestic shipping included.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $35 or more

    40 backers Limited (60 left of 100)

    REDWOOD DECK STAND – (1) ONE Redwood Deck Stand made from old-growth, reclaimed redwood, PLUS (2) TWO Royal Optik decks.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $43 or more

    15 backers

    ROYAL OPTIK SCREEN PRINT – Enjoy (2) TWO Royal Optik decks PLUS (1) ONE Limited Edition, signed & numbered screen print. THIS PRINT IS A KICKSTARTER EXCLUSIVE, IT WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE AFTER THE PROJECT CLOSES. You can add this print to any of our other pledge tiers by adding $25 to that pledge. Domestic shipping included.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $45 or more

    7 backers

    RED UNCUT & DECKS – Enjoy (2) TWO Royal Optik decks PLUS one (1) Royal Optik RED uncut press sheet. This is not a poster, but a genuine sheet of cards removed from the press before being punched out and packaged. Domestic shipping included.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $55 or more

    47 backers

    SIX DECKS – Enjoy (6) SIX Royal Optik decks. Domestic shipping included.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $55 or more

    60 backers All gone!

    UNCUT & DECKS – Enjoy (2) TWO Royal Optik decks PLUS one (1) Royal Optik uncut press sheet. This is not a poster, but a genuine sheet of cards removed from the press before being punched out and packaged. Domestic shipping included.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $55 or more

    20 backers All gone!

    UNCUT & DECKS – One more chance to enjoy (2) TWO Royal Optik decks PLUS one (1) Royal Optik uncut press sheet. This is not a poster, but a genuine sheet of cards removed from the press before being punched out and packaged. ALL UNCUT SHEETS ARE SIGNED & NUMBERED. Domestic shipping included.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $108 or more

    31 backers

    ROYAL OPTIK BRICK – (1) ONE brick box containing (12) TWELVE decks of Royal Optic playing cards at the Early Bird Price. Domestic shipping included. *Please note, per Kickstarter's rules, that by choosing this reward you will not be able to add anymore decks to your pledge.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $110 or more

    24 backers Limited (1 left of 25)

    REDWOOD CARD CASE – Sleek, sophisticated and truly one-of-a-kind, our collector card case will be the king of your coffee table or desk. Handmade at Uusi from old-growth, reclaimed redwood. Singed & numbered. PLUS (2) Royal Optik decks. Domestic shipping included.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $150 or more

    15 backers Limited (5 left of 20)

    ROYAL OPTIK BOX – Commemorative, screen printed box handcrafted at our studio from old-growth, reclaimed cypress. Box holds (6) SIX Royal Optik decks. Each box is signed and numbered.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $300 or more

    4 backers All gone!

    COLLECTOR UNCUT SERIES – (1) ONE extremely rare Blue Blood uncut, (1) ONE sold out Limited Edition Bohemia uncut, (1) ONE Blue Edition Bohemia uncut, (1) ONE Royal Optik uncut.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $350 or more

    5 backers All gone!

    "FRIENDS OF THE FAMILY" COLLECTOR BOX – One handcrafted box made from old growth, reclaimed redwood at our studio. The box is sized to ultimately hold 12 decks. INCLUDES (1) ONE Uusi Blue Blood Deck, (1) ONE Uusi Bohemia Deck Red, (1) ONE Uusi Bohemia Deck Blue, (2) TWO Uusi Royal Optik decks.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $350 or more

    5 backers All gone!

    "FRIENDS OF THE FAMILY" COLLECTOR BOX – One more chance to get this handcrafted box made from old growth, reclaimed redwood at our studio. The box is sized to ultimately hold 12 decks. INCLUDES (1) ONE Uusi Bohemia Deck Red, (1) ONE Uusi Bohemia Deck Blue WITH SEAL, (3) TWO Uusi Royal Optik decks.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    1 backer Limited (1 left of 2)

    FRAMED UNCUT – (1) ONE uncut, signed & numbered in a handsome custom frame handcrafted at Uusi. Professionally matted. Non-glare, museum-grade plexiglass. PLUS (1) Royal Optic brick. Domestic shipping included.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $750 or more

    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    ORIGINAL RO JOKER RENDERING – Along with the Ace of Spades, we feel the Joker is one of the signature cards in any deck. Our original, gouache rendering for our Royal Optik Joker is a true, one-of-a-kind! (1) ONE Hand-painted, titled and signed Joker artwork on heavy art paper. (2) TWO Royal Optik Decks with the one deck having one of its Jokers signed.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world

Funding period

- (32 days)